Brendan Polmer: Can you believe it?

Holy crap, I’m a senior.

When did this happen? How did this happen? I don’t get it. Seems like just yesterday I was trying to get into The Exchange with a fake I.D., dancing with some cutie to 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” while holding a pitcher of Bud Light in my left, paper-braceleted hand.

Together with my classmates, we’ve grown so much. We’ve moved on from dorm parties to house parties, on-campus “clubs” to way-off-campus bars, Natural Light to Yuengling, introduction classes to advanced, general curriculum requirements to Major Requirements.

Like the senior citizens that hang outside of St. Mary’s Court on 24th Street we often look at the new freshmen and sophomores and say to each other, “Ahh, to be young again!”

There’s something undeniably true about the transition from freshman to sophomore year. In many cases, what was once an innocent, immature individual turns into an older, more experienced, more mature person. They change physically, too. What was once a six-pack of a stomach often turns into something of a keg, and what was once a hairless, pimpled teenage face turns into a scruffy, double-chinned mug.

I’m not saying that it will definitely happen to you, freshmen that are reading this, but it probably will.

Believe me when I tell you, things change after a couple years of college. Your interests change, your habits change (often for the worse), your feelings towards other people change, even your worldview and political ideology can do a complete 180 turn.

Take Facebook, for example. I’ll admit, I used to be a self-declared Facebook whore. It used to be cool and exclusive, but now it’s just creepy, cluttered and full of pictures of me doing terrible things my first two years of college that I should probably delete before applying to any sort of real job.

Speaking of jobs, I’m going to need one pretty soon. Assuming that senior year will almost certainly fly by faster than any of the others, I should probably get on the whole job thing sooner than later. After living off the parents’ dime for 22 years, it’s about time for me to start paying my own bills. Besides, once I’m finally financially independent, I won’t feel as bad about spending money on the stupid shit that makes me and only me happy – damn you IKEA and your stupid Swedish color changing mood ball!

While I am excited to have one more year at GW, I’m also equally as excited to get the hell out of here. Living and working in D.C. over the summer taught me a lesson about how freaking awesome life can be after college. It taught me that going to class everyday, studying for tests and writing papers is no way to live your life.

Sure you need to work hard each day to make ends meet, but what’s great about most jobs after college is that you can leave most of your work (gasp!) at work. Unless you slack off all day or you’re itching for that bonus next month, you usually won’t have any “homework.” You’ll usually never have to study or take another test, and best of all, at the end of the day you can go to the bar and drink.

I’ve often joked with my friends claiming that I’ve had senioritis since my sophomore year, even though it’s mostly true. I’m all about a liberal arts education, but if I ever have to take another statistics class at GW I may just drink the Kool-aid and end it all. I suppose I could have gotten an A in a certain math class designed for freshmen that I took last semester, but why put forth the extra effort? It didn’t help my grade point average at all, but then again, it didn’t hurt it either. And you know what? I got to go out on Tuesday nights because of that decision.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: while enrolled as an undergrad at GW, or any other university for that matter, you pick and choose your battles more than they choose you. What’s great about college is the enormous amount of freedom of choice you’re given. I mean, pretty much everyone figures out within the first couple months of school that you don’t have to go to all of your classes all of the time.

I guess I feel kind of obligated to share this with the new freshman class, because too often I find kids that take their time here way too seriously. You’re already smart – you got into GW after all.

So relax. Make a couple bad decisions if you have to. You’re only going to learn from them and become a better person. Get at least one violation. Do have fun. Do follow your passions. Do take care of your body. Do something stupid. Do her. Do him. Do both of them. Together.

Don’t sell drugs, but know who does, even if you don’t do them. Don’t be “that guy” or “that girl.” Don’t be an asshole. Don’t screw your friends over. Don’t order pizza and Chinese food every night.

So please, heed my advice. I’m here to help. Now does anyone want to do my introduction to political science homework for beer?

– The writer, a senior majoring in journalism, is a Hatchet columnist and Arts editor.

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