Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What I Learned in College

So that's all, folks. I'm done. Over. No more staying up until three in the morning alternating between writing papers and watching a montage of romantic airport scenes. Now I can stay up until three in the morning watching a montage of romantic airport scenes and calling it "research" for my pending TV-writing career, when I should be applying for "real" jobs" whilst going to comedy clubs to "network" with strangers.

In the meantime, I don't think there's anything wrong with looking back at my (admittedly weird) college experience and figuring out what the heck I learned in the past three-and-a-half years, at two different schools.

1) If you want the "full college experience," why not go to both a small private Lutheran school and a large public university?
It's the best of both worlds! I got to frolic around CLU's precious little campus and experience dorm life in Thousand Oaks AND enjoy the modern beauty that is the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and experience downtown Phoenix. I also have two very different sets of friends from both schools. It's like having divorced parents! In all seriousness, I don't regret going from CLU to ASU and back to CLU, because I met such fabulous people along the way and I finally accepted what I wanted to do with my life. I must warn you, though, that this one might be slightly annoying to your parents.

2) If you want to make friends, scope out the bitches.
You know those obnoxious girls who spend half the class snickering and making sarcastic comments? I am those girls. All of them. I quickly assess the sense of humor of those around me and decide with whom I will exchange (what we believe to be) witty banter with for the semester and will help me draw beautiful portraits of the professor. Sadly, these friends can't be found in every class, meaning the snarky comments often need to be kept where they actually belong - in your head.

3) Sometimes the best classes have nothing to do with your major.
I always found it a bit disconcerting that some of my favorite classes were gen eds. Even more pleasantly surprising is that, despite my evil atheism, two of my favorite classes at CLU happened to be their required religion courses. (It helps being taught by a heavily caffeinated gay Catholic). I also enjoyed my close-knit summer biology class and my Political Science class at ASU, proving that no, gen eds aren't just useless fillers; sometimes they're even better than the crap they require for your major.

4) And sometimes they do.
I complained like crazy about the suicide-inducing lit classes I had to take as an English major, but I also got to take Creative Writing classes, including one in which all we did was stand up in front of the class and read the stories we'd written. For someone as attention-starved as I am, this was obviously my dream come true. What better way to earn an 'A' than to spend every class period making your peers laugh with/at something you've written? (And listening to their stories, too, of course). Those were the days, I tell you.

5) In college, you can cuss like a f*eaking pirate!
In my screenwriting class last semester, my lovely professor talked about how "back in the day," he would never use the word "fuck" in front of the class, but now it is accepted as the norm. This may reveal how secretly un-classy I am, but I love this new development. My professors' dropping of F- bombs and use of words like "bullshit" makes me feel like they're more genuine people. It also makes me feel more comfortable when I feel the need to yell, "You asshole!" across the classroom. Which sometimes just happens.