Orange Rhymes With: Moving on and staying behind

We made it. Somehow, through all the exams, windstorms and false springs, we made it. It wasn’t easy, and I’ll be the first to admit that I probably have some major damage from a lack of sleep, but we made it.
I seem to have a bit of academic amnesia when it comes to the end of each semester, where I mysteriously forget about the mountain of stress that stands between me and summer. Even though I’ve done the unprepared-for-finals dance a few times now, I still get surprised by the sheer amount of work it takes to be a college student. Given that I’m typing this while huddled in the remains of a blankets fort surrounded by discarded homework and study guides, it’s not hard to see that the stress is a bit overwhelming.
But for some of us, the end of the semester is more than just a two-week period of stressful finals. Some of us are expected to participate in something called “real life” where you’re forced to pay all of your bills on time and none of the jobs come with an attached syllabus. Those people have the great misfortune of being unceremoniously thrust into the real world, with expectations to start careers and act like adults.
I’ll be staying right here where I have running water, a non-leaky roof and my roommate’s Netflix account. Believe me, I’m sure the real world is great and all, but I’m going to take a rain check for the next couple years or so.
All of you graduates will have the chance to change the world in your given professions. As doctors, bankers and policy makers, you will make the choices that will affect our communities for years to come. Honestly, the scene at commencement will look like it was ripped straight out of Dr. Suess’ “Oh the Places You’ll Go,” complete with people who seem to be speaking a made-up language about the future.
And for those of you who majored in English, theater or anything else that isn’t engineering or science, don’t worry. You’re more than welcome to come back and try again. Believe me, I’m staying in here where it’s safe for as long as humanly possible. Otherwise I might actually have to find out what an economist does. In this case, ignorance is bliss.
There may come a day when I have to venture out into the real world, learn to tie more than one knot with the cheap neckties I buy at Target and fool some poor employer into hiring me — but today is not that day.
If the graduating class of 2013 can be thought of as Lewis and Clark, then I’m Clark’s lazy friend who let someone else map the west before I finally decided to head out. It’s a trade-off. Clark’s friend certainly didn’t make it into any history books, but he also didn’t get cholera and die on his way out of the door.
So for those of you moving on from college, moving to a new place of maturity and adulthood, I have only one thing to say: Good luck. Seriously, I’m counting on all of you to go out and start your careers so you can make it look easy for me. My future plan for success is dependent on one of you becoming incredibly wealthy so you can hire me as soon as I graduate.
And for those of us who will be sticking around, haunting the halls of UAA for another couple of years, well, at least we have another couple years before we have to pretend to be adults. Believe me, we’re getting the better deal here.
So whether this week is the end of your college career, a wake-up call to change your major, or even the first time you’ve shown up to class all semester, finish strong with finals and show me that life is easier than I’m expecting.
I’m counting on you guys. Go out and show the world that it isn’t that hard to be a functioning adult. Don’t worry, we’re right behind you.