Orange Rhymes With: Ready, set, college!

Aaaand we’re back. Back from the beautiful prospects of summer, from lazy days spent sleeping until noon, from road trips, barbeques and fireworks. Back to college.

Man that sounds depressing.

But, it’s not all bad. In fact I’m even looking forward to it because going back means that we’re still moving forward with our degrees. In the summer it’s easy to get complacent and lose sight of why you’re going to school in the first place. Now that Aug. 27 is quickly approaching, I’m reminded of my longstanding plan to earn my doctorate in Undeclared.

Okay, so maybe I’m not thrilled about the academic portion of the year, but I am excited to be back. I’m downright ecstatic for my new campus apartment, soon to be furnished with an ancient-ish gong, a bonsai tree and a wall-size portrait of Stephen Colbert.

There’s an entire list of things I’m looking forward to this year, and rather than have you guess them, at which I can only assume you will be woefully unsuccessful, I may as well just tell you.

First on the agenda: stir-fry Tuesday.

No matter how hard your week has been, whether you bombed your physics test, were forced to visit parking services or got dumped in front of the entire staff of the SSB Starbucks, maybe your favorite parking spot was taken by the moose that seems to live in front of North Hall, it doesn’t matter. I defy you not to smile for stir-fry Tuesday.

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Perhaps there’s something magical within the sauce or maybe it’s just a welcome reprieve from mystery meat, but nothing makes me prance like a little Disney character like the sound of sizzling noodles. Some of my fondest memories involve friends huddled around spicy beef doused with enough fiery Siracha sauce to trigger an atomic event.

Coming in at a close second: The insanity of finals week.

Before you all begin to grunt your disapproval at the arrogant young humor columnist for voicing his support of strenuous testing, let me explain.

I hate finals. The very word makes my head spin and I can smell the musty scent of books as I begin to experience some sort of terrible study-flashback. Believe me, I get it.

But in spite of the finals themselves, I have to admit that most of my craziest stories from freshman year seemed to happen during finals week. It may have something to do with the collective brain-fart that the entire campus seems to experience, like some sort of collegiate “Inception” experience.

Whatever the reason, something is different about that week. Caffeine tastes sweeter, time seems to change it’s mind rather frequently and no one seems to be bothered by the sight of exhausted bodies strewn across campus.

The post-finals mental relief is a culmination of all of the stress built up over the past semester. It leads to the biggest parties, the most memorable events, and (in the case of my roommates) all of the dorm furniture flipped upside down in the hall.

Bringing home the bronze: Watching the Seawolf hockey team destroy the Nanooks.

Let me share a secret with you. For all my exaggeration and imaginative name calling, I really don’t mind UAF. It takes a special kind of student to live in Fairbanks in the dead of winter and I truly respect that.

Except during hockey season.

During hockey season UAF is the enemy, an evil opposing force threatening our honor, and our hockey team is the only thing standing between that evil and the world. There are no differing opinions during the UAA/UAF game— there are only those who support UAA, and those who are forever dead to me.

It’s a special kind of feud that unites the student body with a common enemy. Is it slightly irrational? Maybe immature? Perhaps exaggerated? Some people would answer yes. Ignore those people. Obviously, some men just want to watch the world burn.

So of course there are parts of this year that I’m dreading. Already, classes seem longer and textbook prices appear to have risen 4200%. Fighting tooth and nail for a parking space like some sort of elaborate remake of Thunderdome doesn’t exactly appeal to me either. And, don’t get me started on the hassle of keeping my apartment clean enough for human habitation, that battle was lost before it began.

But, overall I can’t wait, the memories I’ll make this year will be well worth the occasional tough days. If the days get too tough, I’ll just cruise through Pandora while munching on my stir-fry, waiting out the storm.

Just remember that it could always be worse. You could live in Fairbanks.