Just Give Up

Erin Campbell Watson

It’s time for me to write the requisite spring term column, in which I proceed to persuade you, the Lawrence University campus, to act completely without discretion for the next 10 weeks. But this year it’s a little different, because these are the last 10 weeks I get, which isn’t to say that I’m not pretty psyched about the prospect of spring term, because I am. I’m pretty much as footloose and fancy free, to quote Libby Kocher, as you can get. That’s the problem. I want it to be spring term, but I really don’t want it to be not spring term anymore. In fact, I really, really wish spring term would never end. I just need that pretty badly.
Most of the jobs I’m applying for pay an average of $15,000 a year. I can’t go to the bathroom, not to mention the VR, for $15,000 a year. I can’t do anything for $15,000 a year. I recently learned that my Dad made a little less than that at his first job. In 1980. Working as a box-packer at Crate and Barrel. No seriously.
I have been listening to Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” on repeat and sobbing into my comforter while clutching a bottle of one of those two-for-one red wines from Flanagan’s. Except it was more like six for three.
You might be surprised to know that it actually is possible to do this for a living. Many Web sites actually do employ sardonic love and sex bloggers, although, one of the most exciting parts about graduating is that then no one will know that I am the girl with the incredibly cynical view of all relationships ever. So here’s how I’d like all this to end up: for the next ten weeks, I will continue to provide the same kind of disillusioned commentary that has made me so popular with the male population of Lawrence University for the past four years (Ha! Joke!), but for now I will, albeit briefly, throw in one last plug for my flailing reputation, which has spent the last three years gasping for life in the VR. Even though I do sincerely believe that your best hope for a romantic evening at Lawrence University is a couple free drinks and a sweatshirt to wear home in the morning, I’ve learned a little more than that in my time here. I mean, four years ago, as I was about to graduate from high school, I had recently been dumped by my less-than-memorable high school boyfriend with a penchant for Interpol, Converse All-Stars, and wearing bandanas in his back pocket. I thought I would never love again. Somehow I got over that one. Now, there is a new part of me that believes in exceptions, and knows that I’ve met some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met at Lawrence by taking time to become interested in people who are interested in me, or who at least interest me to begin with. So I guess here’s a pretty big secret: It hasn’t all been bad. Not even half of it.
Some of the best-or at least the most fun-relationships I’ve had at Lawrence haven’t been the ones I’ve planned for the longest, tried the hardest to make happen, worried the most about, or carried out to the bitter end. I haven’t necessarily enjoyed the long relationships I worked the hardest to maintain or even to start.
The best times I’ve had were the hilarious ones, when I met hilarious dudes at parties I’d never planned to be at and ended up at by accident, as a favor to a friend. I made some of the best friendships by befriending people whose attire necessitated that I reevaluate my stance on popped collars, crocodile loafers, white socks, and other such wardrobe faux pas I would have never imagined acceptable.
When I stopped bemoaning the lack of social skills and general attractiveness of everyone I saw on a daily basis, and worrying that no one would be able to see me for who I really am underneath my newly acquired Appleton chic, things actually managed to work out alright. What I’m attempting to inarticulately express is that you can’t expect perfection. Anywhere. Lawrence is no exception.
So don’t judge, don’t hate, and don’t expect, and you will surely find spring term, as well as the rest of your Lawrence experience, to be the hopeful Mecca of opportunity it’s promised to be. And with that, it’s spring term.
According to some questionable reporting on the part of The Lawrentian., Travis Fondow’s “Where the Freshmen At?” campaign may have drawn to a close, but mine sure as hell hasn’t. I’ve got one more term before it becomes potentially very dangerous to pursue 18-year-olds; I’d be a fool not to take advantage of that.