Andrew Pazdon: The silver lining

Over the past year or so we have been feeling the rumblings of a financial apocalypse. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – Fannie and Freddie, Lear Jet-ridin’ automakers, Bear and Lehman, and Bernie – have apparently ravaged our economy so thoroughly that we do not know what to do with ourselves. There is no doubt that we are experiencing a bit of a rough patch.

We have all been affected, although some of us more than others. Some have lost their jobs and homes while other just can’t afford to buy a new Ferrari. Nevertheless, there are some perks that come with this unfortunate economic situation. While the end of the recession will certainly be heralded as a turn for the better, there are some aspects that I will miss:

Public works projects: Do you like potholes? I know I don’t, and the recession has brought us a deficit-spending stimulus to supposedly fix all our potholes, crumbling bridges and leaky water lines and dig the proverbial ditches. I was happy to learn that the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority expects to receive a little more than $67 million to support safe drinking water. Fears of lead pipes having you buying bottled water? D.C. is well on its way to finish replacing its lead services, meaning you won’t need to buy water from Fiji or a Brita filter from Wal-Mart any more – that is if you don’t need to use up your J Street money buying water.

Cheap travel: I like to travel, whether going home or visiting my friends around the country. Usually, what keeps me sedentary is my cheapness and unwillingness to fork over a large sum of money to fly on a plane only to be treated like human cattle. The recession has changed that. I’ve taken advantage of cheap flights around the country from airlines begging for business. The best part is the planes aren’t as full as they used to be, so I’ve been able to mooch extra peanuts and Coke. The same goes for hotels. Never mind sleeping on an inflatable mattress on a friend’s dorm floor when a room at a Hyatt costs less than my economics book.

Excuses: Don’t feel like buying that econ book? Blame it on the recession. Don’t want to go home and visit your parents? Blame it on the recession. Why did you sleep in so late? I didn’t want the temptation of spending money while being awake. Why did you party so hard last weekend? The recession has got me down. The recession is pretty much a catch-all excuse for life right now. I can’t think of many instances where it wouldn’t work.

News media: When the recession is all over, everyone else and I will no longer have a “legitimate financial” reason to watch Erin Burnett on CNBC.

Teabagging: ‘Nuff said.

Tuition: Our fixed tuition is pretty nifty regardless whether we’re in sad or happy times. But knowing that my tuition is staying constant while my friends’ tuition is skyrocketing due to shrinking endowments is quite nice. Somehow GW stumbled upon success by drawing most of its operating revenue from tuition. Kudos to you guys.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be happy when the times are once again prosperous. But there have certainly been some pluses to this recession. This experience will definitely change our generation for the better. To quote 50 Cent, “diamonds wouldn’t feel so good if it wasn’t for pain.” Hopefully when all is said and done, we can appreciate what we have more and look back on our time at GW with fondness for college and nostalgia for the highlights of the recession.

The writer, a freshman majoring in international affairs, is a Hatchet columnist.

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