Are we 12 or 43?

Nora Taylor

About two weeks ago during a class lecture the professor said, “Suppose you’ve just been dropping a load into the charity pot …” and continued on with his lecture. To prevent embarrassing the professor, I will not name the class but will only say that it’s like Freshmen Studies but I’m a senior and I’m in it.
Most students carried on taking notes and sitting in rapt attention with the exception of about four students in the back of the class. Upon the unknown Professor’s uttering the words “dropping a load” these four students completely lost it.
The same four would go on to later discuss how sexy NPR host Ira Glass is and how Jennifer Aniston keeps her body in shape at age 40.
Immature, yes. Middle-aged, double yes. Turns out most Lawrence Seniors are some bizarre combination of 12 and 43. One thing we definitely are not is job-market-ready 20-somethings. Soon these geriatric baby children will be teaching English in foreign countries, representing Lawrence at the top grad schools across the country and entering the work force in various places.
Though it has become more and more striking as senior year wears on, there has been an omnipresent tinge of middle school throughout most people’s college career. Beer pong is just a slightly more challenging version of Bozo Buckets. The sentiments behind eating as many pixie stix as you can in five minutes and live strong mimic power hours Saturday night after Saturday night. Joining a fraternity or sorority is like building a tree house or secret “boys only” club.
We still have to beg our parents for money. We still pass notes albeit in the form of text messages. We still eat too many cookies albeit accompanied by disapproving glances from friends at Downer instead of scolding from our mothers. And please don’t act like you’re not peeing yourself with excitement over the moon bounce and sumo wrestling at Zoo Days.
As for the middle-aged part – how many times have you heard Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al” at a party? A lot. The answer is a lot.
We tend to be a few weeks behind popular culture until our hipper friends update us, much like you had to turn your mother on to Ja Rule like totally way after she should have known who he is. We listen to NPR, we bargain-hunt at the grocery store, we go to lunch buffets and early bird specials because they’re less expensive and … we nap. Oh boy, do we nap. Nap in the morning during class, nap after lunch, nap during orchestra rehearsal, nap while Becca goes up to order your third pitcher of beer at the VR …
Some people say that you’ll never live like you do in college: I respectfully disagree. Moving beyond the comparison of LU students to 40-year-olds and 12-year-olds, I’d like to point out the parallels between college and retirement communities/nursing homes.
1.) All of your friends live nearby.
2.) Chances are some of the people you met in your first year won’t stick around for the next few.
3.) Your food is cooked for you and is void of spice and flavor.
4.) There are way more women than men.
5.) D-3 tennis is comparable in terms of excitement to shuffleboard.
6.) Bertrand Goldgar.
7.) You have to wait for your family to visit to go out to dinner.
8.) Sometimes people wander around naked, confused as to their whereabouts.
9) Everybody thinks everybody else is having lots of sex, but really no one is.
Should this cause any of us to worry – either about the future or how we spent the last four years of our lives? I think not. But then again who am I to speak? I like to google hot guys.

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