The Brief Wondrous Second Semester of Junior Year


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Packing up to leave my dorm room is always difficult. I mean this purely in the literal sense…how did I accumulate so much useless stuff? Over the course of the school year I end up holding onto so many useless things that I think will be important, like old champagne corks, In N Out receipts, Paul Blart-themed birthday cards (thanks Maddy), and hundreds of pages of rough drafts (I’m definitely keeping the Paul Blart card, don’t worry). I always leave my room to pack my car looking like a bag lady, holding big shopping backs full of random pieces of paper in one hand and my faux fur coats in the other.

But as difficult as all the sifting through my drawers can be, it’s also just as pleasant. Every random item reminds me of a fun night spent here at Oxy with all my friends.  The champagne corks remind me of one of the nights all my friends and I got together and played Cards Against Humanity on the floor of my room, with cheese, crackers, and the music of Best Coast in the background.  The In N Out receipts are from all those times I didn’t want to do my homework and dragged someone along with me through the drive-thru line to feed my procrastination and my desire for some of the best fast-food burgers you can get.  The Paul Blart card is a wonderful birthday card my roommate Maddy gave me this year, and I’m never getting rid of it. And all the rough drafts are the remnants of the strange papers I’ve written this year as an English major.

And speaking of being an English major, no, it’s not a joke. Yes, you can do plenty of things with your degree. This past finals week I’ve been in the library later than all the other majors, even chem majors, working on some of the best papers I’ve ever written, if I do say so myself. But I wouldn’t trade those nights spent in the library until 5:30 am for anything. It was amazing bonding time for my friends from the English department, as our post-midnight psychoses would set in, probably scaring the late-night weekend librarian (sorry!). I don’t think I’ve ever come up with as many dumb puns and literary jokes as I did in those short four days.

I guess what I’m trying to say with all of this, is that even though school can often be very difficult and stressful, it’s still about 1000x more fun than anything else you could do in the "real world." How often do you get to put on a show with Dan Deacon headlining as you’re scrambling to find a library copy of Roland Barthes’ The Fashion System? Who else could I possibly laugh about the pun "Shock Derrida" with besides my favorite liberal arts students? Where else could I wear light up sneakers to a meeting with the English department faculty? Oxy is a really special place where all of this is possible, and while I’m looking forward to catching up on my sleep and my TV shows this summer, I’m already waiting to start my final year in the fall.

PS: extra credit points if you get the literary reference in the title of this post.