Hi everyone. My senior thesis is due in a few days, and I’ve got to get back to work on it. This means two things. One: This week, my column will be even more riddled with grammatical errors, logical fallacies and general evidence of careless disrespect for your intelligence than usual. Believe me, if I could get out of writing this, I would. But the harsh realities of working for the News’ editorial staff require that I give them something, or else they’ll put me in the bee room.
Don’t ask about the bee room.
Anyway, the second thing my senior essay means is that I will soon graduate. <Expletive deleted.> And graduation is pretty frightening. You’re entering the real world for the first time, and from what I hear, the real world is scary. It’s full of competition and danger and bathroom lights that you have to turn on manually. For you underclassmen, let me put it this way. Imagine you took a class and learned about Darwin, and when you were learning about his theory of natural selection, you quietly laughed to yourself. “Ooh, too bad for that frog,” you giggled. “Better evolve some better camouflage next time you decide to hang out near that den of water moccasins!”
I fear I’m that frog.
Or another example. Imagine you’re a bee that’s been trained to feast on human flesh. Along with millions of other similarly trained bees, you’re kept deep below a certain building on Yale’s campus. And whenever a disobedient News columnist is dropped in via trapdoor, you have only seconds to reach said columnist before all your competitor bees do. Talk about pressure!
So what should I do? You might tell me that if I’m worried about being competitive in the Darwinian sense, then I should just adapt to the world I’m about to enter. Develop some new skills! This would be a good idea if I were a normal person who already possessed any survival instincts at all. But alas, I’m a liberal arts student who spends a decent amount of his time saying useless things like “On information!” and “Hear, hear!” and “My, what a lovely bowtie” with other YPU members.
Still don’t believe me? Here’s a list, by no means comprehensive, of traits I’d need to develop in order to remain viable outside of Yale: cooking abilities; night vision; marketable skills; familiarity with politics and/or political-sounding words; muscles; an attractive personality; the ability to say things like, “Whoa, did you see the game last night, with the slam dunk”; money; and a Wolverine-like metallic skeleton (ideal situation).
Now is the part of my op-ed where I desperately solicit advice. What do I do? My ideas so far have been pretty sub-par. Like, I could avoid graduation by hiding in the bushes, then just keep attending classes next year like everything’s normal, and if someone says, “Hey, I thought you graduated last year,” then I’ll just change the subject to something serious, maybe about how that situation in Libya is really heating up, only it wouldn’t be Libya because that would sound like old news.
Actually, that’s my only idea so far. I would truly appreciate any advice on how to improve my postgraduation Darwinian fitness. Direct your emails to my thankfully still operational Yale address. Put “Improve Your Darwinian Fitness Today!” in the subject line. Thank you, and remember, the bee room is very real.
River Clegg is a senior in Davenport College. His column runs on alternate Thursdays.