College Senior Manifesto


I am a senior with four years of inflated world-class university schooling under my belt, and this is my shameless proclamation of post-teen, post-tolerant, collegiate angst.

If you are among the ranks of those earnest, fresh-faced, picket sign-toting millenials at Zucotti Park, baring their souls to sympathetic onlookers and vicious critics alike;

If you are of kindred spirit with the thousands grappling with obsolete tenets they were raised upon and newly-surfacing realities of 21st century existence;

If you too were raised by the internet and confess to learning more from skimming Wikipedia articles than by sitting in any stale classroom you’ve ever encountered (and are guilty of often doing both simultaneously);

If you are perplexed by the proliferation of irritatingly “Smart” devices at your institution that serve more as ostentatious displays of academic pomp than teaching aids, and are in denial about the fact that this is indeed where your tuition is being drained;

If you had to endure the so-called teachings of at least ten atrocious professors for every single competent one;

If you have ever interned, and have been exploited as an intern, and have smiled through gritted teeth at the backward logic of paying for academic credit mandated by companies to which you are providing your services;

If you have ever felt like a number;

If your self-worth has ever been determined by a marginal difference of a decimal point in your GPA;

If you abandoned your dreams to fulfill the dreams of your parents;

If you believe that the entirety of your academic career has been founded upon a self-perpetuating, vicious cycle of meritocracy, in which achievements are dangled before you like bait on fishing line and you are but a single weary, hopelessly earnest fish;

If you pull your hair in frustration at the blatant hypocrisy of pathetic campus “Green” efforts that urge you to sacrifice paper towels while your professors run off hundreds of copies of two-line handouts that could be emailed simply;

If you’ve ever contemplated dropping everything and becoming an autodidact;

If, while slaving over another one of your countless irrelevant papers, you realized how badly you’re itching to work and accomplish something meaningful but are shackled by unreasonable and irrational demands for baccalaureate degrees in any professional field;

If you cried out in rage the first time you heard that today’s BA is worth what a high school degree was two decades ago;

If you hope to emerge victorious at the end of four years’ worth of diligence and hard work, with nothing to show for your efforts but a piece of paper now rendered meaningless by some wack sh-t they’re calling a “higher education bubble”…

Then man, I feel your pain.

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image – ElvertBarnes