Monday, May 7, 2007

Letters from a College Freshman

Dear Mom and Dad,

I hope you are both well. Since you have loved and nurtured me since my early days as a zygote, I wanted to make you aware of a few developments that might concern you. (Note that I do not mean "concern" in the sense that the French Revolution "concerned" Edmund Burke, but rather analogous to how redox equations "concern" electrons.)

On Monday I was conducting tests on the new credit card you sent to me at when it occurred to me that purchasing this season's newest cable-knit sweater might constitute an example of what Professor Wealthman Goldrich recently called "deficit spending." Given my current state of employment, it could be argued that this expenditure would be an effective countercyclical measure. Perhaps you would offer in response the classical economic defense that parental spending would tend to crowd out private actions, such as getting a job or setting a manageable budget. The merits of these arguments notwithstanding, I bought the sweater on the understanding that, being the fruit of a racist, imperialistic, and sexually repressive capitalist system, nobody really "owns" the money anyway. For a fuller discussion, please see the PDF excerpts of my class textbooks that I have scanned and attached. Incidentally, I charged the textbook on the credit card as well.

I must also point out that your tendency to call me on Tuesday evenings severely limits my ability to "network." As I'm sure you realize, the benefits of a college education are as much about the social connections one cultivates as they are about intellectual development, particularly social connections involving drunken, morally depraved, but physically attractive members of the opposite sex. For your convenience, I have devised a telephonic signaling system that eliminates the need for all verbal communication between us. Two rings indicates that you should send more crates of Top Ramen. Three rings mean that you can expect a large parcel of dirty laundry to process within the hour. If the phone rings more than three times, you can pick up because it means that I need money. Further unsolicited phone calls will be either be forwarded directly to voicemail or, in the event of an emergency, may be granted a terse, hushed conversation after which I will pretend that you were one of the two girls who live in 304 inviting me to a sorority event.

It is possible that I will be returning to the provincial, uncultured setting of your home community over the Thanksgiving break. Should this occur, you must understand that even though my room still features the same hair-band rock posters dating back to my 8th grade graduation, my inviolable sovereignty as a college student will remain intact for the duration of my stay. I may call you next week to let you know when you should pick me up.


1 comment:

Nick Herberger said...

Hey J.J.,

Sounds like you are really getting this whole college freshman thing worked out ... but how has it REALLY been? Is college everything you thought it would be?

Was your freshman year an incredible experience, a lost cause, or something in-between? Perhaps all of the above?!

My experience has shown me that what you have shared in this letter is very true ... but my experience has also taught me that the Freshman Year can be the toughest of all.

It sounds like you made it through your freshman year?! Now what?!

Nick Herberger

Author: "The Freshman 40 - everything you need to know about your firs forty days in college"