Scenes From A College Student (In 1994)



In the four months that I have lived in Chico I have made a couple of amusing observations that have been grating at my brain for sometime. I feel the need to share, which is very uncommon because I am an only child. Strap yourself helplessly in your chair, I’m taking you on a magic carpet ride.

Scene 1: The “real college” farce that I live with. I am a victim of community college. That’s right, the nasty stepchild of the CSU system. Some of you believe that I don’t have a say in what goes on here, after all I didn’t have to go through what you had to go through. You all know what I’m talking about: the dorms, victims of rushing, the friends that you make, blah blah blah.

But man, I thought that coming to Chico State would mark a significant change in my lifestyle; that going to a real college would be some out-of-body nirvana-like experience, complete with the keg parties, studly men, and friends pouring out of my ears.

Wrong. This scene is exactly what I experienced at community college, minus all the deadbeats who can’t afford $150 a semester to take three ceramics classes. Instead I have deadbeats taking English classes at Mommy and Daddy’s expense. Just an observation.

Scene 2: I feel like I am in a never-ending John Hughes movie here. The first day of school, I walk onto campus not knowing what to expect or where to go for that matter. What am I greeted with? A throng of really good-looking people and a DJ in the background playing “(Whoomp) There it is!” I really believed that Molly Ringwald or Winona Ryder was going to waltz out of the crowd and deliver the opening lines to this movie I was in. It was so ridiculous, what does the AS expect us to do with that music? Bust a move on the grass? Grab a partner and boot-scoot-boogie to class? Just a thought.

Scene 3: Disgruntled older men in every one of my classes. These are the guys who are about 35–40 years old, sit in the front, and call the TEACHER “Prof.” They are so unhappy, I don’t know why they bother with us whippersnappers. I’m sorry, but I’m going to go off here. They bitch about kids these days, but they don’t seem to understand that the average age around here is 21. OK, so they want to come back to get a degree that could make their careers easier. Fine, but l just don’t want to hear another damn word about how we are so selfish. Not all of our Mommies and Daddies pay for this wonderful experience. Maybe your kids act that way, but the majority of us are just trying to get along, OK?

It was also a big shocker to see a woman who could be a grandmother in my community college class, taking it because she likes to do statistics. I thought I lost those people when I came here, but they keep following me. Stop it.

Scene 4: You all read last week’s real life experience at Jack’s Family Restaurant [Let me refresh your memory since that was 20 years ago. From Synthesis issue 8: A group of young men dining at Jacks discovered a screw in their bowl of delicious beans, and got in a big, hours long hullabaloo with the manager, the cook, and eventually the police, which left everyone involved very disgruntled. It was possibly a literary metaphor about how having a loose screw can lead to a series of overreactions that derail your life as you search for what you perceive to be justice. Or it was a story peppered with uncomfortable racial references, about how nobody believed a group of truth-crusading college students, and it was totally unfair. – Editor]. Well, this is my message to all the business and homeowners of Chico. Without the students you would be about as well-known as the town of Grimes, that nasty one-stop-sign, one-signal-light town on Highway 505.

I put so much money into this town and all I get is attitude from store owners. They follow me around their boutiques like I’m about to whip out an Uzi and take them hostage. If we had a photo, you could see that I am not that intimidating; I look like I’d have a hard time killing a fly. But yet, they seem to hate us.

Also, if any of you guys get the great chance to read the E-R, check out “Tell it to the E-R” in the front section of the paper. The most common bitch is that the college students should go, but leave $3,000 on your way out. That’s just the opinion of this writer.

Scene 5: I thought the scene would be…well…just, more like a scene. It’s like the survival of the fittest; if you ain’t got the letters, you can kiss your social life goodbye. That’s what the Greeks told me. Sort of. I came here expecting something more. Not a party of crazy town revelers dancing down my street, but there was this clause about Chico being the party school. But, my friends, according to some know-it-all, the University of Rhode Island is the place to buy your kegs. This is all for your personal knowledge.

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