Four years later: no regrets, plenty of mistakes

Taking classes you enjoy will prevent you from sleeping on your books. (AP Photo)

My New Year’s resolution for 2011 was simple – no regrets.

I have stuck to it to the best of my ability thus far, but as I near graduation and remember the good, bad and ugly times borne out of four years of giving just enough of a shit to get by, it has not always been the most pleasant experience. I am ready to admit my mistakes, but by no means would I go back and change them. That would mean I regret them, right? I do not regret any of it, but maybe future avoidance for those who fall into the same situations might not be such a bad idea. Here we go.

The Sober Ones …

—Worst social mistake: The single most crippling mistake of my college career was trying to maintain a long-distance, college-to-college relationship that was way past its prime. I could never even begin to count the hours I spent arguing with my then-girlfriend while my cell phone melted my brain, trying to reason out why I didn’t text her back after I got out of class earlier that day. The fights usually ended with me falsely admitting my incompetence as a human-being so I could get off the phone and return to playing Grand Theft Auto with my friends. If you walked by the Decker 6 lounge during Fall 2008-Spring 2009, I am sorry.

If you really love someone, you will make it work and it’s meant to be. If it becomes a chore, end it. You are wasting your time. Go enjoy college. It’s going to be over soon!

—Worst academic mistake: taking Early Chinese History. I have no interest in China. I dislike history, and I hate getting up early. This was a match made in heaven. Actually it was a match made through a tight schedule and the need for a liberal learning requirement. “How bad could it be?” I asked myself while searching classes on PAWS. Answer: Really bad. I pulled a B- and learned very little besides the fact that the Han and Yuan dynasties sound shockingly similar in broken English.

If you need to fill a requirement, try not to take any class that leaves you with the “eh … I’ll just suck it up” reaction when you schedule it. Notice the presence of the word “suck” in the previous statement.

—Worst athletic mistake: Sliding in intramural softball. Just don’t do it. You will get called out for messing up the precious football field’s turf, and you will call yourself an asshole for the next month as you rub Neosporin on the outside of your calf where the epidermis was removed.

If you take intramural sports too seriously like me, here is a tip: I have never heard from anywhere that freight-training the catcher on a close play at home gets you called out, or ejected. Give it a try. Let me know how it goes.

And the not-so-sober ones …

—This mistake was my own fault. I fell into the fantasy that when you turn 21, you become invincible and previous alcohol tolerance levels no longer apply. Long story short we had a big, multi-birthday party at our off-campus house with more people than any normal residence should hold. I drank everything in sight, and by 11:30 p.m. I was doubled-over my toilet, trying to keep my insides on the inside as I puked my brains out. I passed out in my bed for a few hours, caught the tail-end of the party and went to the diner … I think.

When you turn 21, do what you feel is right, but expect the consequences. Try not to idealize the night. It’s unlikely you will remember it anyway.

—This mistake was not my fault. It was a cake’s fault. I learned the hard way that Keystone Light and Funfetti cake in large quantities mix a lot like sorority girls and science class. Long story short (again), I was at a friend’s party off-campus last spring, and after a few games of beer pong, I discovered that a friend of the friend had supplied the party with a tray of bite-sized cake treats. Being a few games into pong, devouring these confections seemed like a great idea at the time. The one-hour-later Bobby that sat on the ground outside for 20 minutes and then vomited next to a lamppost might disagree.

Avoid refined sugar at all costs while drinking … except for all of the soda you are mixing with the sugar-infused hard liquor you are drinking, of course. Terrible idea. Jack Daniels on pancakes is OK though. Epic Meal Time, anyone?

—The final mistake involved being in New York City for a friend’s 21st birthday, Fruitopia (throwback!) and an upset best friend. First off, when was the last time you heard anyone reference Fruitopia, the quintessential ’90s fruit beverage of choice? I would guess it’s been a while, but I kid you not, a McDonald’s in New York City had it as a fountain drink selection. I felt the need to text my best friend from home, also a nostalgic ’90s freak like myself, and notify him of my findings. Keep in mind that it’s 4:30 a.m. Well, the text woke both him and his significant other up, and they both angrily texted me in the morning, yelling at me for ruining their night’s sleep.

Just because you are drunk and think something is awesome, it may be best to keep it to yourself until the sun is up. I still think they overreacted, though. I mean, come on. It’s Fruitopia!

If you have made it this far, I hope you learned something from all of this. The less time you have spent at college, the more this should mean to you. Learn from your mistakes, don’t forget them and don’t regret them. Maybe they will end up in a newspaper some day.