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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Column: The black abyss

I really don’t get why anyone would catch a round of senioritis in college. Sure, there was a moment when I was finishing out all-nighter No. 2 in the basement of Bainer Hall ’round 5 a.m. when I briefly entertained the notion of just becoming a stripper. Coincidentally, a few days later I would attend a party where I found being a stripper means letting strangers eat whipped cream out of your ass crack and, well, I’m just not comfortable with that yet.

I begrudgingly admit that if I stayed in college forever, I’d probably age like crap before succumbing to liver failure. This whole 10-weeks-till-the-end thing is pretty uncool, though. The end of life as we know it is disturbingly near. That’s why the capital “G” is scary – it’s like falling into a black abyss because we don’t know we’re getting into. Last week, my friend at USC told me her last foreseeable plan after graduation is houseboats, which is either awesome or pitiful depending how you look at it.

When it comes down to it, you’ve just gotta take that plunge, chief. As frightening as it is, the mystery of what lies ahead is part of life’s charm. As you venture on further down the road, you answer the questions you once had. Perhaps, as a child, you wondered what college you would go to or how hot you would grow up to be. By now you ought to know those things, and surely there’s more where that came from.

We used to have this really kickass rabbi drop in every once in awhile back in high school. One day he dropped the idea upon us that whomever we’ll marry is probably out there living their own life right now, possibly eating a sandwich (it was around lunchtime, as I recall). For some reason, everyone found that super trippy. Translation: Things reveal themselves when they’re meant to.

It’s all about bracing yourself and chasing down those dreams while learning to cope with potential setbacks – aka situations that just suck. There’s so much fear of failure in the air these days, but just remember that you’ve made it this far so you’re probably gonna be okay.

Think of all the little brats you shared a kindergarten classroom with and where they are today. One of my former classmates was identified by a former AYSO soccer teammate when the bandana covering his face slipped down while he was holding up a car. There’s the old sorting machine of society grinding its gears. If you’re fairly certain you would never end up in that situation, kudos. Be glad you’re not kicking it with him in San Quentin.

Looking onward leads me to that big, beautiful question: What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? I’m not saying you should go behind your parents’ back and sell their Palm Springs timeshare in order to finance a business venture selling ice over the Internet. But set your sights high. Work for it until you’re in a position to invite your friends to a house party at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Inevitably, things never end up the way you mean them to. Learn to roll with it. If you’re a perfectionist, I can promise you’ll be disappointed in what you get from life. Bender had it damn straight when he said, “Screws fall out all the time. The world is an imperfect place.” Even Jagger acknowledges that you can’t always get what you want, and it’s probably true since he probably gets what he wants more than just about everyone.

In any case, I’ll try my hand at tour guiding on the Jungle Cruise if it keeps me from eating Cheerios on my mom’s couch in my pajamas during one of those unemployment jams. I think I’d excel at the former before getting fired three days in for swearing too much.

The point is if you’re set to walk the plank in June, fear not about landing on your feet. If you’ve still got a couple of years to screw off, then by all means, screw off. Time flies like a mofo when times are good. Not so much when you’re doing something you detest. So take caution – don’t become a middle school PE teacher. Or a fluffer.

MICHELLE “TRICKY DICK” RICK felt too important to write this week, but her ghostwriter can be reached at marick@ucdavis.edu.

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