Green ‘Cac Grass: An Editorial
Some of you are like me. I’ve been quiet about it until now, but I’ll confess. I’ve been pretty bitter about my first two years of ‘Cac-ing. Broad, unspecialized classes, weird dorm and room parties punctuated by dumpy bars, never seeing anyone new. Good friends and getting involved didn’t help. I had a nagging feeling that somewhere, elsewhere, lay greener grass. “You have to make your own fun”. “It’s about the relationships”. “Get blackout and it doesn’t matter”. Junior year at Connecticut College and elsewhere in the ‘Cac means three things, and it’s none of those three. The grass got a lot greener.
A rundown of the triumvirate including… The Winternship.
1. Study Abroad. My third favorite linebacker (behind RAY and T.Sizzle GO RAVENS), the Leinbacher, threw down a study abroad post, so you already know. Conn College (and to my understanding, most other schools in the NESCAC) makes it unbelievably easy to study abroad. Spin the globe, drop a pin, spin again if you land in the middle of the ocean (or do this and get credits from UVA?), and go enjoy the best four or five months of your life. I’m headed to Brisbane, Australia in the spring, and allegedly it’s not gonna suck.
2. The Internship. Or in my case, the Winternship (credit: blame_me). MOOOOMMMMM GET WD-40 AND THE SPATULAAAA THE COUCH IS STUCK TO MY ASSSSS. Is this you? We hate you. To us, the few and the proud who rise every weekday morning in the depths of winter to toil as uncompensated cogs in the corporate machine, you are Lord Voldemort. While you lose breath trekking from your oversize bed to your overstuffed refrigerator, we lose sleep praying tomorrow will be a nine-hour day, instead of 12 or 13. While you wonder why Fluffy pooped in the bird bath instead of under his usual hydrangea, we wonder why lunchtime is suddenly like Christmas, and why caffeine was sent from the gods. For all its similarities to
hell real life, the winternship has its perks. I am flying solo in Manhattan, have a new group of friends, commute on the subway every day, and love what I do at work. If you had told me two years ago when I was a freshman that I would get myself out of bed every day, work out, make my own breakfast, and go sit in front of a computer for nine hours a day, I would tell you to rock me in the face and tell me to NEVER GROW UP!!! For better or for worse, the P. Pan is fizzling out of me, and self-sustainability is taking its place. This is how they break us. Someday I might actually be ready to face reality.
3. Face reality. Whether this means paying off loans and financial aid or curling up in the throne as the heir to daddy’s mergers and acquisitions empire, it is an inescapable fact that life exists beyond the Gatehouse, and beyond graduation. I may be affirming your nervous dub-tee-eff’s or introducing a new specter into your life with this privileged information, but be not afraid. With the ‘Cac diploma under our belts, we are, in the best sense of the term, the 1 percent. NESCAC schools are prestigious for a reason, and each has an extremely extensive alumni network begging to be tapped. Whether your goals include saving the developing world and all the refugees that come from it, writing the Great American novel, or buying the developing world and touting your subsequent awful self-help book as “Great” and “American”, the ‘Cac degree is one of the most valuable on the planet. This is part of what I was talking about with greener grass as well. As I perused the Facebooks of high school friends who now attend meccas like U Maryland, Auburn, and SMU, it was easy to contemplate transferring and combining a solid education with four years of absurd partying. But the difference shows after graduation. I am by no means stating that people from those schools are not extremely successful, as I know that many of them are. I am also not stating that all ‘Cac alums are successful, or that students inthecac don’t party in absurd ways. What I am saying is that when a ‘Cac alum or anyone who knows the conference sees ‘Cac on your resume, they can assume a very high baseline: that you endured common academic rigors, and that you graduated with an invaluable liberal arts education. This realization, combined with the more specialized classes and diversified social options of the second two years should make reality’s fugly face slightly more bearable.
That we ‘Cac brings us together, and how we ‘Cac sets us apart. For me, getting far away from Conn for eight months is finally helping me start to appreciate it. I leave you with wisdom from a man who has undoubtedly enjoyed the greenest of grass.
‘Cac harder. We get head and tail like a quarter. Yep in that order. – Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.
For the kids,