Freshman Orientation

Getting a B.S. in Life Crises

Jessica Turner
Nov 23, 2013 · 5 min read

Welcome to your Quarter Life Crisis: “Where All Your Dreams Are Sputtering Helplessly on the Floor!”™

In this orientation, you will be told that YOU ARE NOT ALONE although you are going to feel very much alone and very isolated and incredibly singly primarily excruciatingly completely and utterly alone.

So remember, kiddos: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Now that you’ve forgotten that, let’s get down to business. You are going to:

  1. Get a job that doesn’t pay you enough to make a true living, but…all together now…that’s right! Pays enough to keep you from quitting! Good job, kids. Nice participation.
  2. Live in an apartment with at least one roommate because you can’t afford a place on your own. Hey, at least you’re not in New York, right? Up there, you have to share a one-bedroom apartment in the ghetto with six other people and you still pay $1200 per month.
  3. Shop at overpriced grocery stores that make you feel good about yourself while you’re shopping, but remind you that you have no money when you swipe your credit card.
  4. Eat Nutella directly from the jar. No, not later, I mean right now — look under your seats! It’s like being on Oprah! Nutella for everyone!

And that’s the last handout I’m giving you.

Pretty soon, you’ll be crying yourself to sleep, wondering about the meaning of life and if you’ll ever be able to get on with yours. You’ll succumb to old anxieties and probably depression and go on meds you didn’t have to take before. You’re going to try to find a way out of your situation, but you’ll feel hopeless as student loan debt hangs over your head while Congressmen argue about whose dick is bigger.

But don’t you worry: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Now I want you to look to your left, and then look to your right. You should have noticed by now that you’re not sitting next to anyone. The person who was on your left actually never showed up because they were offered their dream job for seven times whatever you’re making. And the person on your right has collapsed under their seat in a stinking sweaty pile of misery and despair (Would someone call the janitor, please? Thanks).

But YOU. You kids. You young whippersnappers. You’re here! You’re still sitting semi-upright in your seats, listening. And that’s great, because that means you still have an ounce of sanity left in you. Hold on tight! Because everything is going to try to rip it away from you, and it would just be so much easier to give in and take a trip to the mental hospital and pretend you’re a toddler and shit your pants all day.

That’s not going to happen, though. You’re going to put a big fuckin’ smile on your face at every person who says you’re so goddamn lucky to have a job in the first place. Forget the fact that other people are actually thriving despite the “status of the economy” or whatever it is they’re talking about. You’re just so fucking lucky, kid. You better appreciate that salary that hasn’t been adjusted for inflation, so you’re actually making less than minimum wage earners in 1962. You’re so, so lucky. And what else are you? That’s right, say it loud and proud!

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Now when you take the campus tour, be sure to visit all of our best facilities. We have the Bragolin Memorial Crying Chamber, constructed in 2008 from subway public restroom salvage, where you can sob and wail to your heart’s content. We also have the Counseling Center where you can try to string together coherent sentences. Counseling services cost $100 per half-hour, one third of that time will be spent waiting for the therapist, and you may only have 10 visits per year. If you have clinical depression, extreme anxiety, or any other disorder that requires medication, we will up your coverage to 12 visits per year!

Don’t forget to stop by the SuccessNow!™ Career Center to take some fun personality tests with vague results about what you might like to do with your life. The Center only has tests and suggestions, mind you, no maps or directions. You’ll have to figure that out yourself. If you ask for a map or any other assistance, you will be escorted off the premesis for disorderly conduct. You will also be pepper-sprayed.

We have excellent professors, and you should definitely get to know them. Every single one of them is at the top of their field and accomplishing amazing things. They are warm, friendly, and eager to help you as you navigate the Crisis. Their office hours are completely booked for the next 10 years, and all of their classes are full, but the waiting list for any teacher or class is in the basement of the library behind a stack of the skeletons of deceased students who couldn’t find their way out.

But by far, the greatest place on campus is our Crisis Lounge! Here you can relax with your fellow crisis managers, sipping overpriced coffee and guessing the ever-changing Wi-Fi password. We have couches and cushions that haven’t been cleaned since the Ford administration, adding to the hip vintage charm of the Lounge. We’re waiting for some great pieces to trickle down from the Reagan administration to give it a funky 80's vibe, since we know you youngins were born then and must love everything 80's. And while you’re in the Lounge avoiding the stares of angry Boomers whose breaths are fogging up the windows and the security cameras in every corner, just remember:

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

All right, kiddos, it’s time for the tour! Just file out of the auditorium to find your orientation leader. Oh, and don’t forget to sign the Crisis Agreement on your way out — that’s just some quick legalese that says that anything you do or make here belongs to the Quarter Life Crisis. You will not be compensated for anything. All rights are signed over to the Crisis. Under no circumstances may you share anything you accomplish in the Crisis under penalty of law. If you find any Meaning in Life, you must forfeit it to the authorities for destruction. Any resistance will result in immediate pepper-spraying.

Have fun! Grab a soda on the way out — they’re free. After you pay.

    Jessica Turner

    Neurotic, artistic, Buster-Keaton-Alexander-Hamilton-fanatic writer seeks blue skies, waterscapes, and inspiration.

    Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
    Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
    Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade