Jackson: I would be giving good advice if I wasn’t so busy

Joel Jackson

Since this is my last opinion column ever, I feel I should be imparting all of the knowledge and wisdom I have gained over the last four years to the younger classes. Unfortunately I am just too busy and my brain is too frazzled to remember how to tie my own shoes. I just don’t have time to be nostalgic right now because I am trying to do a semester’s worth of work in two weeks. So instead I will go for a bitter tone and impart some advice on how not to ruin the end of your senior year with work.

1. If you want to be super-productive, sign up to do a large project–like a year-long senior thesis or huge engineering project. Then spend as much time as possible avoiding working on the thesis or project. Never will your other work be done faster, your room be cleaner, your nails more perfectly painted and your social life more active than when you are doing anything but working on your thesis. Being a thesis-avoider will turn you into an outrageously efficient and effective being in every area of your life but that one dreaded paper. Consider being a thesis-avoider for the rest of your life. But also make sure that you drop the project in enough time or only have it in your imagination because you don’t EVER actually want to do one.

2. Don’t do a semester’s worth of work in the last two weeks of school. In fact get as much work as possible done before spring break, because after spring break it is impossible to concentrate and get anything done.

3. Register for the easiest classes possible second semester senior year. Do not challenge yourself in any way. I recommend saving a fine art elective for this time.

4. The end of the year is a time that really should be set aside for preparing for future careers, spending time with friends you may not see again, and going out every night until the cash runs dry. If you do end up with an obscene amount of work during your last month or two of school, figure out how many classes you must attend and how much work you must turn in to get a B or C, and then do that bare minimum. Don’t kill yourself trying to get it all finished perfectly. Slop it together and go out with your friends. Especially if you already have a job lined up for next year. This is a decision you will not regret.

5. Do not sit around and say to yourself, “My last group project ever.” “My last walk across Mendel Field.” “My last hour-long hunt for a parking space.” These kind of sappy, nostalgic moments can put a real dent into your last semester. You don’t want to be walking around with that sad mopey look. Also avoid starting talks to underclassmen with phrases like, “If I could only be in your shoes and do it all over again…” or “Make the most of every moment!” They don’t want to hear it and worse yet they will remind you that this is not “Dead Poet’s Society” and you are not Robin Williams. So keep those thoughts for your diary.

6. Have fun. This is the cardinal rule of your senior year. If a relationship is not fun, get out of it. If an activity you are part of is not fun, quit. Unfortunately school is rarely fun, and you must do some of the not-so-fun work. But keep that to a minimum. Don’t ruin your last year of college committed to people, causes, organizations and projects that make you miserable. Get out and enjoy yourself. Life is short, or at least the fun part of life, like your college years. So make the most of it.