PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY wants my money. Once upon a time not too long ago, I agreed to pay Portland State University some at-the-time-meaningless amount of money in exchange for some of that crucial next-level book learning. That was the conceit at first. To be honest, at some point college became more about delaying the humiliating reality that I had no fucking idea what the adult version of myself was supposed to look like or act like or how I would make money or how much money a bed costs or why a box spring is anything. College became a multi-year couch nap sponsored by my future. College meant never needing to figure out what to do about black mold.
Now I'm out of college, I have a box spring because whatever, I still don't know what black mold is, and I'm consuming so much student-loan despair that my liver is turning into a thick, creamy foie gras of "I'll never own a home." I am earnestly jealous of my friends who didn't go to college. I used to feel so fucking superior, lording over them my ability to write a persuasive essay. Now they own jet skis and go to Hawaii, and I still use the same towel my mom bought me before I moved into the dorms.
It's my fault though, right? I took the fun classes. I pursued my interests rather than my best interests. I signed up for shit because it started at 1 pm, and I took the same math class three times until I figured out how to properly cheat my way through it. Maybe my parents should have stopped me, but I was always a smart kid and college was only ever a "when" and never ever an "if." I wanted to go to college, they wanted me to go to college, and I said all the kind of responsible-sounding platitudes that you're supposed to say to demonstrate that you understand the burden you're assuming—but I was a kid, infatuated with appearing independent, and possessing almost none of the abilities to actually BE independent. So I went to college, where they tell you to find something that interests you and pursue it—well guess what, Portland State University, I was a fucking teenager. I was interested in Madden, sleep, porn, and quesadillas.
How about these colleges take some of that tuition money and hire somebody who's job it is to say, "Hey, you're taking a fuckload of classes about puppets. Stop it." I don't mean someone you can talk to, I mean someone who talks to you. How about you make it a requirement to figure out how the fuck you're going to use your ability to dissect Othello to help you get a job doing actual shit. That class had 30 people in it—are they all going to become theater professors? How is that class not a pyramid scheme?
The stakes are high. Colleges aren't even making sure their students are prepared to make decisions about college. That shit is amoral, it's unethical. The university systems operate with the same mentality of a drug dealer—if you get hooked on their shit and fuck your life up, well, that's on you. If you want your money, Portland State, come pry it from my cold, dead "I don't have your money because I took a bunch of improv classes."