San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Down with post-grad hype

Well ladies and gentlemen, the time has finally come. I have to—I mean get to—graduate. Let’s not get sentimental about a moment that, for many years, has been expected of me.

I graduated from San Diego State in 2010 and returned to get my Master’s degree the same year. That makes me an old man to most of you. I remember being 18 and seeing 22-year-olds and thinking, “Holy crap, that guy can grow facial hair. He probably lives in an off-campus apartment. What’s he still doing here?” I can only imagine what new students think of the 25-year-old me as I stride down Campanile Walkway: “Wow, it’s like all the life has been sucked out of him. What sort of troubles have you lived through, oh wise man, bald of head but hairy of shoulder?”

For my younger readers, here’s a brief history of my freshman year. Most of us still owned Myspace accounts. Facebook and Twitter were fledgling social media sites that quickly spread throughout the residence halls. Gossiping was never easier. My neighbor got me drunk off vanilla vodka, haven’t been much of a drinker since. I kissed a girl for the first time.

It was just all right.

Life hasn’t become any easier since then, and refuses to let up.

No, I won’t be celebrating my graduation this time around. My parents already had to suffer though the last one, and that’s enough. I like tiny graduating ceremonies, the department ones, but not the Viejas Arena ceremony. It’s akin to an awkward breakup in a crowded church: prolonged and tortuous. It’d be too disrespectful to just stand up and leave halfway through, even though you’d give your left hand to be dismissed.

And really, what’s the point of a mass graduation ceremony? First, we have to listen to the dean lie to our faces about our bright futures, then some old person wanders onto the stage to inaudibly discuss past events from his life. Nobody likes a guy who rattles on about himself. We get it, old-timer: you were around before Facebook and you’re terrible with women. Next, students from each specific college stand up to ever-dwindling applause as your friends and family become exponentially hungry and bored.

“Is that Mason down there in the corner, seven rows up and four columns across?”

“No, that’s an Asian girl.”

“Oh. Well, she sits like Mason does.”

“Yeah, he really needs to stop crossing his legs like that.”

“Good point. He’s got a sexy set of thighs on him, though. I’d show them off too.”

“Calves, too. God, when is this thing done? Did anyone around here sneak in any booze? Come on, people; This is SDSU, I know someone’s packing.”

Someone is, but there’s never enough to go around. Meanwhile, across the stadium, a large family is preparing to go buck when their daughter or niece’s name is called, ruining what little shred of dignity that poor girl had left. This isn’t the NFL draft, people—it’s a graduation, with other graduates and their families. There’s no shame in waiting until after the event to have your own private crunk session.

These are the same people who, during a moment of silence, need to clear their throats or during a national anthem, need to whistle to show just how down they are with America. We get it. You have an oral fixation and a narcissistic disorder, but can’t we just have one nice moment where we respect each other? Can’t we pretend to at least have some of the formality and pride our grandparents had? Unless your child is valedictorian, he or she isn’t special and neither are you. Respect that fact.

At the end of graduation, the fact remains that most new graduates will be jobless, returning home or living in a small apartment with a job for which they’re frustratingly overqualified. If anyone’s looking for a consummate professional, I do bachelorette parties and am a surprisingly OK babysitter. Before either job, though, I will ask you to sign a contract freeing me of any liability; though, to be honest, if I lost your kid, you wouldn’t be able to take much away from me.

“The court awards the plaintiff Mason Schoen’s life savings in its entirety: $37.50, a handful of pens and one-half of a bedazzled Best Friends heart necklace.”

People tend to sentimentalize very mundane moments from their past. That’s why so many people warn you that college is the best time of your life. I don’t know about the rest of you, but there wasn’t nearly enough casual sex and naked frolicking with puppies to deem these past seven years the best in my life. If this is where I peak, I may as well stop everything and work toward what I wanted to be as a kid: a Triceratops. At this point, growing horns out of my forehead seems more feasible than finding a career.

And really, you shouldn’t have a “best time of your life.” How sad is that? You should be able to find joy in everything you do, no matter your age or position in life. Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

If I’m ever getting on that happy train, someone seriously needs to reveal the flask they’ve smuggled onboard. I’ve got some celebrating to do.

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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Down with post-grad hype