Thoughts on four years ahead at Williams

Last week, I slept through my first class. I guess I lasted a long time; most of my friends missed a class the first week of school. And I hadn’t done the reading; I would have been practically sleeping in class anyway. But, still, this trend is worrisome.

Why did I choose to come to Williams, the number-three liberal arts college in the nation? Not to sleep through classes, hopefully. But yet, when I woke up, and it was 10 a.m., and my 8:30 class was already finished, I felt no remorse. It was kind of…funny, like a rite of passage. I realized my parents would not be called, and that there were no immediate repercussions, save that I missed a lecture. Why am I here? To learn is the obvious answer, but as we are told time and time again, “These are the best four years of your life!”

And do the best times of my life really consist of holing myself in my room and studying? Of course not: the best times are late-night trips to the snack bar, setting up your friends for screw dances, attending sketchy parties and dancing at the Log on Thursdays. The best times are running with friends and gossiping about guys and procrastinating until midnight to start your 200 pages of reading, which, inevitably, will not get done.

Most of us come from one of two situations. One: we went to public schools that under-challenged us, and although we got good grades, we never really worked. Or two: we went to topnotch prep schools, where we worked incredibly hard for four years to be able to get into a school like Williams. In either case, our goal has been to get here, to a good school.

We joined clubs, studied for standardized tests and played sports, and now we are here, at our prestigious college, and the central goal of the past two to four years is gone. We made it. And now the motivation is gone and what do we do; what am I to do? I actually have already done my homework for tomorrow so tonight I can go out, which means tomorrow I will barely be able to make it through my classes.

I am a freshman. I have four years to work hard; I want to live for right now. Is that the correct attitude? Probably not. I’ll be crying when I get my first semester grades back, but, hey, I’m having a wonderful time.