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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Literary Lessons: Patience Padawan

Freshman year is indubitably the hardest year of college. People who succeed in the “important” stuff during freshman year are made of magic and probably know an elf or two. Note: winning a drinking game does not count in calculating your success.

However, coming a close second to being the hardest year in college is senior year. You’ve done everything (and maybe everyone) and you’re nostalgic for mom’s cooking as well as furniture on which you can hygienically lay your face. To all my friends graduating this quarter, I plead with you, stay patient. Senioritis is a struggle, but you only have two more quarters and getting lazy at this point in the game is very unadvisable.

In books and in life, patience is crucial. However, you can go back and redo your reading of a classic novel whenever you choose. Senior year, on the other hand, is a much harder feat to do over. It’s necessary that seniors ride out their brains’ depleted thinking tanks to the last drop.

Remember how excited you were when you got into UC Davis!? Think about how disappointed your past self would be to see your future self skipping class and not turning in homework. Giving up is your way of telling the universe that you are privileged enough to fail — that you are so well-off that extra effort has no marginal benefit anymore.

That being said, if you are sick — emotionally or physically — or anything happened to you that is making life hard right now, don’t be bummed.  If you have a reason for your senioritis, there is no shame in that. I am only saying that for those who are making a conscious effort to put in no effort … those people need to buck up.

If you have only contracted senioritis solely out of boredom, try to remember the last time you gave up on something. For me, this conjures up a failed tumultuous relationship with one of the greatest authors of the 20th century, James Joyce. Also the time I threw away my pencil sharpener because it seemed a bit too dangerous to try to fix myself. Out of the two, I pick to share how I badly regret getting bored of James Joyce and not putting in any effort to finish Portrait of An Artist as a Young Man.

I want to be a James Joyce consessiour. My loins ache at the idea of him. However, my reading escapades with him are always fast, intense and over quickly. Not that this is a bad way to do it, I can just only get so much accomplished (in pages, of course) when doing it for such a short amount of time and getting tired so quickly. I guess he just left me feeling, well, unsatisfied. About reading that is.

In the end, I never got through Portrait. Even worse, this book is nothing like the monstrosity that is Ulysses, it’s actually pretty short. I literally just got bored and decided that going on Buzzfeed outweighed the effort of finishing the novel.

Unfortunately for me, no one gives a damn about an opinion of a book unless you know what happens in the end. I can’t be at one of the fancy balls that I often frequent and impressively bring up James Joyce at because, well, I was lazy. Don’t be the guy at the black-tie gathering who can’t think of a thing he learned in any upper division classes because he was lost motivation to learn. Senior year is when all dinner conversation-worthy topics come up, don’t flake out now!

I guess I will close by saying “good for you” to anyone who actually made it to the end of their college career. It’s not easy to make it til the end. Give yourself a big pat on the back because at this point, you’re more likely than not going to make it to graduation. That being said, seeing the finish the line is no reason to lose pace.

It’s just college. You don’t live in old-time Ireland in a state similar to dementia where you relive your days in church over and over again and feel a constant sense of overwhelming loss about a old love. You just have to study and avoid criminal activities. Life is probably never going to be as easy as it is right now.

Go, young padawan, pick up the reading for tonight, review your notes like it’s sophomore year and say no to the Star Wars marathon at the hot guy’s house. Hot guys can wait, midterms cannot.

 

To get really dark about graduating from college, you should email EREN KAVVAS as ebkavvas@ucdavis.edu.

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