More Than a Feeling

As the year draws to a close, it's time for us all to do some reflecting. I think I've accomplished almost everything I wanted to during my four-year stay at Marquette, except for one minor thing: I'm not going to be this year's senior speaker. Maybe it's because I'm not representative of what a Marquette student should be. Or, most likely, the selection committee probably knew that I'd out-do guest speaker Cokie Roberts with my tell-it-like-it-is style coupled with my unique brand of sarcastic humor. Oh, well, graduating class. Looks like you can tune someone else out during the ceremony, because I will be delivering my departing wisdom through a much more powerful medium: The Marquette Tribune.

First of all, seniors, never go to college expecting to be the next big thing. You'll end up a broadcast major turned karaoke DJ with a bad attitude and a hatred for the song "I Will Survive" for two reasons: No. 1, everyone who sings it (and everyone sings it) sucks it up big time and No. 2, it's not true. "As long as I know how to love I know I'll stay alive?" Please. If love was the only thing that kept people going the divorce rate wouldn't be so high. You've gotta look out for No. 1. You won't survive if you hate your life, so if you ever find yourself doing something you can't stand, get out. If you can't get out, develop a defiant attitude and tell yourself: "One day I'll quit this job and do what I really want to do." I've put up with enough crappy $6 per hour part-time gigs (and dysfunctional relationships) to know that the misery they bring isn't worth it.

Second, when you reach the real world, don't drink during the week. Employers aren't as sympathetic toward hangovers as professors are. When you're in college you consider yourself indestructible, but when you've got a real job and you have to get up at 5 a.m. every day, you'll see how destructible you really are when you pass out on the couch during Gilmore Girls due to actual tiredness.

Third, expect to work hard. Most entry level positions require more time and energy than the CEO of a Fortune 500 company puts in. When you're working 60 hours a week at your manager-in-training program, just remember the alternative: living with your parents and defaulting on your student loans.

As hard as the real world is going to be, nothing is going to be as difficult as college. From all-nighters to one night stands, the college experience will never be duplicated. Now it's time for reality to drag you, kicking and screaming, into the real world. I hope you're ready to go.

This article appeared in The Marquette Tribune on April 21 2005.