illustration of student thinking about the future with a philospher
Illustration by E.R. Conte/22 West

College: A Retrospective

Good luck, and don’t fuck it up

By the Editor of the Grunion

Illustration by E.R. Conte, Contributor

Yes, someone actually writes and curates this fine piece of literature.

If you’re disappointed with the fact that we didn’t actually have Santa, God, or a personified Beachboard as contributors over the last year, you should probably seek professional help. After four full years of writing for this garbage heap, it’s time for me to hang up my bullshit hat and let the next generation of grunion babies carry the torch to keep the dumpster fire going.

As you can tell by the dramatic, contemplative tone of the last paragraph, I’m graduating this month! And as you can probably imply through decades worth of pop-culture cliche, I’m pretty anxious. You see, college only partially prepares you for the big, bad adult world. I might have learned how to ghost a tinder date or mooch a scantron off the kid who sits next to me, but I still, for the life of me, don’t know how to dodge federal taxes or get a sugar daddy. How am I supposed to get by? I guess college can only teach us so much, and at some point, we need to spread our metaphorical wings and figure this shit out on our own.

In a lot of ways, it feels like life as I know is ending. My classes are over, my friends are getting jobs, I’m preparing to move to REDACTED, and sometimes these things get a little overwhelming. Because of this, I’ve been looking back at my time in Long Beach and taking a look at what I can learn from my experiences. Conclusion? I fucked up, like, a lot. I mean, everything I’ve done has led me to writing Santa dick jokes in a school magazine. Because of my awkward journey, I want to share my hard-earned wisdom with the readers of this fine publication so that you may have an easier ride on the CSULB dick.

It’s cool to care.

As someone with a crazy amount of passion and enthusiasm, I’m here to tell you to embrace that shit and don’t let anyone tell you it’s lame. Why did everyone in “Parks and Recreation” love and respect Leslie Knope? Because her passion got shit done. I stan a Leslie Knope-esque queen at CSULB, even if others don’t.

No one gives a fuck about your GPA!

Unless you hate yourself and/or are applying to grad school, no one cares about your GPA. Literally no one. When you’re an old suburban parent and your kids ask you to tell them some crazy stories from your university days, you don’t want to tell them that their dad was a sad nerd. Kick back, drink a li’l, and go make some memories. You won’t really remember the semester you got an A on your bio quiz, but you will remember the time when your friends went on a road trip/went to get boujee ice cream at 2 a.m./got hella plastered and woke up in El Centro.

Hopefully not all in the same night, but to each is their own.

Don’t be a frat boy.

You don’t have to be in a frat to be a frat boy. How do you avoid this label, you ask? Just have some general respect for your surroundings. Treat the women in your life with respect, your neighbors with kindness and leave the communities you occupy better than you found them.

Don’t date a frat boy.

Besides the institutional misogyny, I deadass saw a bottle of ranch dressing next to the toilet in a frat house. That was my first red flag, and it should have been my last.

Find your people.

As the unnamed old man from the Legend of Zelda once said, it’s dangerous to go alone! As much fun as it is skyping your high school friends from the shithole city you grew up in, I implore you to go out and make friends with new people. Who are you supposed to end up black out drunk with if you don’t leave your dorm every once in a while?

Find yourself.

At the end of the day, you aren’t taking your friends with you into the next chapter of your life. You’re only taking yourself. Major in something that actually interests you, take that one-unit archery course, and when you get to the end of a hard day, buy yourself some Chipotle (add guac to that bitch, you deserve it!). Friends, enemies and life circumstances come and go, but you only have one you. Treat yourself with some compassion.

As I walk across the stage to shake hands with President Conoley, our compassionate mother fox, and continue on to the next chapter of my life, I’ll be simultaneously giving love and the middle finger to the university that transformed me from an awkward teenager to an equally awkward adult. Thanks for giving me a platform, assholes.

Over and out,