College is supposed to be the greatest time of our lives. Students are supposed to have more fun than they’ve ever had before, more fun than they’ll ever have again. We are supposed to learn more than we ever have before, be exposed to things we’ve never fathomed. College may be the closest thing American society has to a rite of passage into adulthood.

Sarah Royce

Scoop Jackson is one of my heroes in life. For the one-year anniversary of his being a writer for ESPN.com, Scoop talked about the things he had learned in his year of service. Join me as I essentially steal his format for that column while sharing some of the things I have learned during my four years.

I have learned that life is a perpetual testosterone contest. I realize estrogen is the major hormonal influence in women, but women still have to compete with and deal with men in the workplace. Thus, women have to participate in the testosterone contest that we men go through on a frighteningly regular basis.

I have learned that diversity is the key to enjoying pizza on a regular basis. I eat way too much pizza – several times a week when money is right. Thus I have realized that humans cannot survive on Pizza House alone. We must also consume Cottage Inn, In and Out, Bells, Mr. Pizza, NYPD and Hello Faz’s.

I’ve learned that people get really, really angry with Daily writers for reasons too numerous to discuss. Many times the anger is justified. Other times the anger is so irrational, so off-the-charts venomous that I have to wonder if it comes from the type of people who will one day commit hate crimes. You’ve never seen most of the really irrational comments; they usually come directly to writers’ inboxes.

I have learned that many of my classes may be really useful, even the ones I’ve failed. Now, I am a liberal arts major who avoids math and hard sciences like the plague. Instead, I have tried to take classes based on how cool I think they are. I also hang out with people who, for the most part, are completely comfortable discussing social issues that are related to the classes we are taking. But for some reason I feel like a lot of the classes I have taken over the years are applicable to life outside of the extent of my social sphere on this campus.

I have learned that moving back home after college may not be the end of the world. I kinda have to accept this, as after graduation I am moving back home.

I have learned that I love walkability. Living on Central Campus for the last four years, I have realized that I love being able to take a quiet stroll through downtown Ann Arbor.

I have learned that North Campus is where walkable Ann Arbor goes to die. It’s the beginning of where Washtenaw County thinks it’s still rural and tries to hide its development behind pine trees and manufactured wetlands. No one should believe in the rural nature of Ann Arbor anymore – especially while driving at least 45 miles per hour down a four-lane road toward a freeway.

I have learned that having a hold on your student account is stressful.

I have learned that very few people understand how racism manifests itself in modern society. There are very few people who will just come out and blurt a racial slur.

I have learned that editing a movie is really, really time-consuming. I have a newfound respect for film students.

I have learned that Ralph Williams is more of an entertainer than a lecturer. He still conveys pertinent information, but he does so in a style so charismatic that he deserves to teach in an ornately designed, gold-paneled auditorium – not just in the Natural Science building.

I have learned that being in a student group in college is a bit like spring training in baseball. The games count and people play hard, but really it is just an opportunity to work on various skills and iron out how to handle situations.

I have learned that Seasonal Affective Disorder is real. One would think that I, having lived in Michigan my entire life, would be used to the crazy weather and the perpetual gray skies. But most of grade school is spent indoors with little concept of how much the sun is showing. Now that I have to go outside to get from class to class, the weather is really getting to me.

I have learned that being a residential advisor is difficult – even in a relatively small residence hall.

I have learned that this page is pretty powerful. I think that it may have more influence than the Michigan Student Assembly does in regard to showcasing student opinions.

Betts can be reached at djmbetts@umich.edu.

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