What is it about these four years that should make us want to cry when it’s over? That our friends won’t be living next door? That we’ll have to actually earn a living to buy food? That we can no longer sleep until noon on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays? That we have to worry about actual, real police instead of security guards?

Apparently, it’s all of that. We’ve heard it preached before – from parents waxing poetic about the parties they used to throw or older graduate friends who tell us to enjoy it while it lasts – life doesn’t get better than what just happened, ages 18 to 22. It’s all downhill from here.

But let’s be honest; that’s a bunch of bunk – a myth perpetuated by those of an older generation who peaked too early. Most of college was either horrible or miserable and merely goes unspoken about by those who would like to forget. But no longer – this space is dedicated to getting everyone’s head out of the sand and acknowledging those wretched aspects of college life that couldn’t help but define our four years here – regardless of whoever doesn’t want to hear about it. And those aspects are plentiful…

The post office: Resting in the basement of the Todd Union building, which sits alone at the far end of campus, is your unchecked mailbox. The placement of the campus post office is anything but ideal and actually became a debated issue in student government. After all, how could we expect to find the time to venture two, maybe even three buildings over to check our mail, amidst a week filled with classes and leisure? It was just never practical, and any time we had to carry an oversized package, we could only pine over the lack of a door-to-door postage service. Was that too much to ask?

Celebrities and guest speakers: Unfortunately, the lengthy list of guest speakers we were able to see for cheap or free over the last four years was decidedly below par. Whoever thought that B-list celebrities like Lewis Black, has-beens like Dennis Miller or daytime TV hosts like Drew Carey would appeal to college kids was seriously confused – not to mention the many irrelevant musical acts trotted out year after year. And Colin Powell? Who’s bright idea was it to bring him here? There were six or seven people protesting outside for Chrissakes!

Transportation to bars: Time and time again, the free and constantly looping buses provided for students to off-campus nighttime social events proved inadequate. Whether it was forcing us to stand due to shortage of seats, bus drivers yelling at well-minded students trying to climb on the bus through the emergency exit or the lack of available toilets on board for passengers in dire need, an overhaul of the bus system was clearly necessary, but never undertaken. Hopefully the school will soon wise up and realize that the smart thing to do is just make students drive themselves.

Power: It actually went out for several hours one time.

Parties: For many, the “party” is supposed to define the college experience. But the sad truth is that most UR students never learned how to throw a decent party. Instead what we got was over-crowdedness, excessive dancing and too many remixed versions of “Sweet Caroline.” Party music is something the average UR student has yet to grasp. How can a guy talk to a girl – you know, get to know her – when the music is too loud to have a conversation and all she wants to do is dance?

So, yeah, it turned out that college wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. The truth hurts. Hopefully, at least, our class has learned a lesson and will, in the future, refrain from telling younger generations how “great it was.”

Fountaine is a member of the class of 2008.



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