just finished my first four years of college. And my psychology major. But I'm not graduating this year. I'm staying for two more semesters. I believe that anything worth doing is worth doing very slowly, and even though college isn't really worth doing, I want to savour every moment and even add a few extra moments in the form of a fifth year. Think about it, why should I graduate? Why should anyone graduate? It's like some pop-culture fad, like pogs. Graduate in four years 'they' say, so you can be cool like us... everybody's doing it! You know what? I think I'll pass on this one. I refuse to give into your anti-subversive peer pressure. I'm going to be an individual. I'm going to do this my own way. I'm going to stay in college forever. Because I'm special. My mother always told me I was special as she loaded me onto the short bus to go to school, Rainbow Bright lunch box in one hand, bicycle helmet firmly on my head.

I have all I need here. Each year the university brings in a new batch of freshmen chicks to uh... 'get to know'. I get to try new things, see interesting nouns, and my excessive drinking is accepted. In fact, it's quite a status symbol that I can put away three or four pitchers of beer in a good night.

It's not that I can't graduate or that I lack ambition. I've made good grades. I'm not as dumb as you look. I would even be on the dean's list, whatever that means, if I were fully enrolled. It's just that I've done so many things with my college life and I would like to continue doing many more of the same sorts of things. When I finally leave, I'll do so with two majors and 1,826 days of life experience. I'm very happy with this existence. I've got a nice house, room mates that don't smell, a job that pays me oodles of cash to sleep and now I run a world-reknowned website that hosts pirate-themed artwork of all genres.

When I came here four years ago I was a lost little boy alone in the frightening world of academia. A scrawny little high school grad with a bad hair cut and terrible taste in clothes. I can't help but reminisce about all the changes I've made. I still have a terrible hair cut, but other than that I've made marked strides. I have a gold Folex (it's quite a classy time piece if I do say so myself, which I do) and I've seen all 130 episodes of Thundercats. That's two of my life-goals complete. But all my friends are beginning to graduate.

This week I saw more than a dozen of my friends walk in cap and gown across a stage and make the transition from unemployed student to unemployed grown-up. I feel left behind. I feel lost and forgotten. But I don't mind, I still have my pirate fantasies. On friday I finished my last final exam of the year. I watched one of my closest friends graduate the next day. Woke up at 8:00-fucking-AM after a night of celebrating through the abuse of copious amounts of controlled substances. If I weren't a pirate, I don't think I could have managed.

Even though I didn't technically graduate this year, I still have a degree. I jacked it from this little asian guy after the ceremony. He pleaded with me, some nonsense about working long and hard and this bit of paper representing his future and some spiel about an honors thesis in Newtonian particle physicism of the Far East or some such. I wasn't having any of it. Now I am the proud owner of a master's diploma in chemical engineering, whatever that is. I smile everytime I think of the tears in that little guy's eyes. Who's the master now, bitch? You worked hard? I just woke up at eight in the morning to sit in a hard-concrete outdoor stadium for four hours while some be-gowned guy with an accent mumbles the names of five hundred people I don't even know. I think I deserve this more than you.

Anyway, to everyone who acquired their degree legitimately this year, congratulations. It's been fun. Too bad it had to end so soon... for you anyway.




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