Meaning of (College) Life according to Titi

Note: The theories expressed in this article are not fully tested, and need further scientific research, and as such are not to be taken literally. If by any chance nothing makes sense you are reading this wrong. If everything makes sense, you are still reading this wrong.

A warm greeting to all my old “fans” (if there are any of you left after a year long pause), and an even warmer one to the new readers. Before Websites and Blogs there was “Titi’s College Journal”, bullshitting in “old school” style since 2001. If you remember, since day one, I was somehow obsessed with understanding college life. Finally, after four years in college, I think I understand it. If you look carefully, college is a short version of Life, and every year is accompanied by a specific set of characteristics. It is like an evolution of an organism through time; like a development of human mind; like the stages of an embryo developing into a full grown person.

Freshman year was my personal favorite. It essentially was like a form of childhood. It involved meeting many friends, having lots of fun, feeling like a part of the family (within a house), doing many “stupid” things, and surprisingly being a model student. At this stage of college life development the only important thing is “the you” (or Ego in Freudian terms). It’s all about “you”, making “you” feel comfortable, giving “you” lots of good Commons food and drinks, introducing “you” to the girls/guys. Now that I think of it, it really was about “me”; that’s probably why I even started writing “Titi’s College Journal” in the first place. In simple words, enjoy the freshman year as much as you can, it is like a return to the stage of your infantile bliss where everything is just so great.

Sophomore year… ah, it’s like adolescence. You are not young anymore, but still you are not that old either. This year could be quite dangerous, so be careful. It involves a lot of partying and drinking. Also you might find yourself in a conflict with the authority. You have a conspiracy theory that “The System” is against you and that it doesn’t want you to be free. Partially you are right, but again beware, it is not worth it. Your best bet is infiltrating the system and learning as much as you can from it. You can do this by maybe participating in House Council, or joining a campus organization. Sometimes, (if you are philosophical) you will realize that you don’t like your current belief system, and you will probably create your own system of beliefs. All in all, be careful, philosophy, partying, and rebellion can be dangerous when mixed and drunk together.

Junior year is like a mid-life. You realize that you have been sucked and incorporated by the system while you were still trying to figure it out, and surprisingly you are fine with that. This stage of college life is all about giving back to the community. You either have to play a role of a parent (in house council) and make sure the freshmen are not doing anything stupid, or that of a politician (in student government or other campus organizations). I personally found myself in the previous role (I was a speaker of the senate), and realized several things: you can never please everybody (the food in the Commons is never going to taste as good as home), upholding the law is the most difficult thing ever (every once in a while there was somebody yelling their lungs out in a voicemail because they got a parking ticket), and there is a great satisfaction once something is done.

Senior year is like old age. Often you think: is there life after college? Certainly, your summer internship didn’t make it look like a piece of cake. You think: What’s the point of all this? Knowledge? What’s the point of all this knowledge if I will be a number in the formula that calculates the unemployment rate? And then, you realize you have only 12 credit hours, and you should take a good use of the situation. You are technically having a paid vacation; it’s like being in a Tropical island: no real responsibilities, you can sleep till 2p.m. if you choose to, it’s the last time in your life that you can pay for meals with flex or meal-plan, you don’t have to pay for the gym or the swimming pool, and it is the cheapest place in the world to have fun.
Finally, while I claim understanding college life, one might ask: What is the meaning of college life? It’s nothing and everything. It’s having fun and learning. It’s satisfying “the you” and contributing to the community. It’s about hating and loving “the system”. It’s about the present and the future. It’s figuring the meaning, and realizing it has no meaning. It’s all these contradictory things put together. It took me four years to realize this, so there it is freshmen, take it, it’s yours!

Next issue: The purpose of Bullshitting, or how to avoid the modern day nihilism.

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Artrit Bytyçi, or Titi, attended Graceland University between 2002 and 2006, during which time he wrote his "Titi's College Journal" column for "Tower", the University's newspaper.

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