No more pencils, no more books

Chris Slattery

If you want to know a weird feeling, sit in a classroom during your last week of class. Another weird feeling: stepping on a puddle of peanut butter barefoot, but let’s just stick to that first thing for a second.

Since the age of five or six, school is really all I’ve known (aside from that two week chicken pox hiatus), so when I sit down at a desk and listen to the professor drone about how crucial it is to stay focused at the end of the semester, I can’t help but feel a little sorry for them. I’m about to finish up with school forever, and I wouldn’t come back even if you paid me. Professors, on the other hand, felt differently.

But this isn’t a column about how hard it is to concentrate (been there) or what I’m doing on the other side of finals week (done that). Instead, I want to focus on this weird feeling. I should be able to describe it, probably with some colorful adjectives and whimsical adverbs, but I’m drawing a blank (which, as it turns out, does not fly in an art class).

I mean, graduation is already quite a ridiculous spectacle when you think about it. Hundreds (or thousands) of robed people sit in a room while a crowd cheers for their acceptance of a piece of paper. And the hats. The flippin’ hats…

But, you know, realizing that there is no more school is bizarre. Half of my brain wants to ask, “You really want me trying to function in society?” while the other half just screams in various pitches the theme song to “Dawson’s Creek.”

School has always been more than a safety net; it’s been my life. Not in the studious sense, of course. I just don’t know what I’m going to do with myself for the next 60 to 80 years (hopefully). Or, the next eight months, if the Mayans have anything to say about it.

Now I have to be a real adult. I’m not a student anymore. I can’t technically get “student discounts” (although I’m not just holding onto my GVSU ID for safe keeping). I will have to become a professional. Sorry, Greasy Pete and J-Dawg, but I’ll probably have to start calling you by your real names. Don’t blame me, blame societal values.

It’s time to go be my own person, I suppose. Meh, I’m getting a nervous rash. It kind of feels like the chicken pox. Which would explain why I accidentally dropped that jar of peanut butter a few minutes ago…

Wait, OATMEAL gets rid of chicken pox itches? So I’m covered in peanut butter for no reason?

I think it’s time to become an adult now.

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