To Northwestern’s Quarter System, The Crusher Of Spirit, The Bringer of Late Nights Crying to “You Are Beautiful” By Christina Aguilera. On Repeat.
It’s the end of May, and with it comes the flowers in bloom, the inconsistent sunlight of the Chicago sky, and the sound of graduation caps being thrown into the air in happy rejoice. This is a good time. This is a happy, carefree time. This is a time of new beginnings and new hopes that OH WAIT A FUCKING SECOND I HAVE TWO 15-PAGE PAPERS DUE NEXT WEEK AND ALL I WANT TO DO IS THROW A FUCKING BONG OUT THE WINDOW.
I’m not over-reacting. Okay, I am.
But Northwestern’s school schedule has reached a new low. By the time we get out of school, July 4th will be two weeks away and my ass will be too sore from Finals to put any fireworks in there. By the time we get out of school, other college graduates will have gone on spirit-building senior trips to other countries or country clubs and will be flaunting their new tan arms and waxed pubic hair. By the time we get out of school, all those internships and externships and IMPORTANT OPPORTUNITIES that Northwestern salivates over will all have started their training and we’ll be left to get the boss’s coffee and testicle massager.
I’m clearly thinking a lot about genitals as I write this. I’m sorry, my better vocabulary was used at 5:00am last night chugging essays and writing beers. Wait. Fuck. I blame Northwestern for that too.
The quarter system is cool, really. It’s great we get to take (and drop) extra classes. If your New Media Communication Studies class ends up being 3 hours a week of your professor showcasing her latest design of iPhones for Dogs, at least it only lasts for 2 solid months. If you bombed that midterm because Netflix’s fiery eyes lured you into a 10 hour marathon of Flavor of Love, then you don’t have to feel so bad leaving that class. So yeah, at times I give thanks to this slipshod class system.
But at most times, I’m sitting in my apartment, staring out the window and lip-synching the words to Coldplay’s “The Scientist” while I write my third Blackboard post of the day. This is actually the nightmare of our younger selves. This is the world without recess. Cartoons have warned us for years of a world where we must watch the sun shine and the other children play as we are cooped up inside practicing handwriting in cursive. This is no different. I’m at the library reading about juvenile courtroom processes while my best friend in state university is taking selfies in front of majestic fountains in Europe.
Maybe I’m being over-dramatic, and I’ll look back on my time at Northwestern as truly life-changing and integral to my academic development. I’ll dismiss the feeble cries of late May as important for character building. I’ll get back to my work and do my darndest best to make it A+ number 1 super duper so that I can go to a graduate school that has a whole other quarter system adventure to embark on.
Or maybe I’ll join Greenpeace to at least have the opportunity to feel the sun when it’s actually out.
Seriously, Northwestern’s quarter system. Go fuck a donkey.