Last Thursday, amid the clangor of a hectic Café Mac lunch, Stanley Palinsky ’14 came to the sudden realization that he regrets every choice he’s ever made in the entirety of his college career.
According to eyewitnesses, the young man had just ordered a woefully inadequate helping of stir-fry and hard, crunchy rice at the wok station when out of nowhere he burst into tears.One source told the following account: “We tried to get him to stop, but nothing helped… he just stood there, staring off into the distance, as his tray slowly filled up with the tears of a man who’d lost his very sense of self.”
According to those close to Palinsky, this event didn’t come as a shock. One friend claimed it “was a long time coming. I remember spring semester freshman year after he didn’t get into any of his first choice classes. At first he tried to make the best of it, saying things like ‘I’ve never taken a course on transubstantiation as an act of ego before. I think it’s going to be really interesting. I think I’ll learn a lot.’ But, months later, when he was forced to make a last minute major declaration his sophomore year, I could tell it really started to get to him.”
Palinsky himself had little to say on the subject. The Hegemonocle found him in an independent study room, rocking slowly back and forth and muttering to himself. Immune to prodding or consolation, he simply murmured, “Eight wasted classes… a full year… should’ve majored in my minor… should have applied for more internships…”
This sad, confidence-shriveling experience extends far beyond this poor young man and in actuality, grips millions of 20-somethings nationwide. One by one, America’s youth slowly come to the realization that their plan to simply “go with the flow” or “explore my options” has not resulted in substantive revelations of any kind. If anything, these sufferers, also known as “liberal arts students,” leave higher education with only a massive pile of debt to accompany them as they drift meaninglessly through life, ghosts endlessly pacing the earth’s surface in a quest for that which may finally yield their sense of purpose.
There is no hope.