College life might not always be what it seems

Brady C. Mallory

Brady C. Mallory

If you think college life is a taste of the real world, you are mistaken. I have seen the real world in the form of a homeless man in a wheelchair with a single cigarette tied to his right leg asking passersby for another cigarette. You cannot get any more real than that. College is the fun part, and I am so grateful that this university was momentous in my journey from boy to man. Still, dear freshmen, if you are under the impression it is acceptable to wear your letterman’s jacket, I implore you to take a good, hard look at yourself in the mirror.

I wrote a column last year for The Collegian, though I am not an advice columnist per se. My satirical essays may have been funny and sometimes thought-provoking; they managed to get me banned from an entire town. If you are looking for enlightenment or a spiritual nirvana, you’d best keep your sights set on God, Allah, Buddha or Oprah. Still, one piece of advice I recommend heeding is to take every opportunity this campus offers for enrichment.

When I was a boy, I remember spending time with my Grandma Mallory. One day while she was enjoying a long, slow Marlboro and a generous Bourbon Manhattan, or as she called it, “a hearty breakfast,” she said something that I swore I would never forget. Despite the fact I cannot remember what unintelligible, booze-soaked knowledge she bestowed upon me, I do not doubt the paramount of her wisdom for she had more money than God, and that is all that truly matters.

The aforementioned vignette reminds me that coherence is secondary to affluence and status. Four years are ahead of you, and you have a clean slate to be whoever you want to be. Keep in mind the economic crisis is stripping your finances with the intensity of a televangelist, which means you must choose wisely what wishes you want to come to fruition. This campus gave me the best friends I have ever had; however, I was able to meet people based on similar interests and goals because I started college when Bush had only destroyed half our economy. Make friends with med students, pharmacy students and those who will one day be able to buy you nice things your journalism degree could never afford you. Or if you are comfortable with your future four-year-old doing ugly, desperate things for money, such as working for a sweatshop or the TLC series Toddlers & Tiaras, then by all means make friends based on inner beauty.

Reinvention is inevitable in college, but it does not mean you have to be passive in the process. In high school, I was very shy and nice to everyone, which readily marked me as a pushover. If you want to try this method with your new roommate, who is undoubtedly crazy and rifling through your unmentionables whilst you are away, so be it. Or you can put this vagrant in his/her place, thus rendering him/her unable to make eye contact without bursting into tears. Now is the time to claim your turf and let the weakest of the pair know who is the Kate and who is the Jon. Eat or be eaten. Make no mistake; I do not endorse physical violence at all. What I do recommend is make every effort to destroy your roommate emotionally, as you dig your sharp claws of hostile control into their spirit and leave them barely human. Which reminds me, I need to give my father a call.

Visit Brady’s blog at