Notes from a University Bathroom
Recently, I came across an interesting piece of graffiti artwork in a Langson Library bathroom. It read, “Honey, why are you writing on bathroom walls? I didn’t pay $30,000 a year for this! Get back to work! Love, mom. P.S. Call me often. P.P.S. Clean up your room!” I was in an odd situation, wondering why I was even reading something remotely disturbing yet humorous. It was probably the only vibrant piece of artwork aside from the unappreciated lack of hygiene products and the toilet seat covers floating around the bathroom.
Nonetheless, the statement struck me and added a bit of levity to my day, for I had tripped in my leopard-print ballet flats twice, was attacked by a flock of birds and was having a plain-old bad day. The note surely prompted me to question the changes and decisions that I would have to make this summer. Needless to say, I was happy that someone could relate to me in this universe. I, myself, was suffering from the pangs of repeatedly withdrawing money only to find no extra money to set aside for my tuition. My lack of organization and the “clutter” in my life prompted me to take drastic measures in my quest to “de-clutter,” create a to-do list and thirdly, to find a job!
Most people go through a kaleidoscope of adventures in college. Many people associate their “adventures” with the idea of getting drunk, pulling all-nighters after quadruple intakes of double shots from Starbucks, participating in organizations on campus and engaging in intellectual discussions while others leave the campus in order to study abroad or simply to get away from the Orange County atmosphere.
UC Irvine has earned its spot as one of the safest commuting schools. I rarely see people on campus on weekends, with the exception of my classes. Where have the students been hiding, you ask? Perhaps the bunnies have something to do with it, or maybe that’s just my thirst for some bizarre sci-fi or purely fictional “Bunnicula” theories. I love the environment and the people, yet I find myself highly critical of the increasing fees— not just the tuition fees, but also the ridiculous price of more than $6 for a box of Lucky Charms. They aren’t so lucky to me. I think it should be changed to “Pricey Charms.” Let’s skip breakfast, shall we? This bickering will not lobby for free tuition or serve to change anything, but perhaps it will strike some interesting questions that we as money-deprived students must aim to alleviate from our shoulders.
At UCI, we are given the opportunity to utilize the resources on campus and make something of our futures despite the ever-increasing demands of high tuition fees and fees in general. There is absolutely no sales tax in Oregon. At least I’ll be able to save a bit of money there, and maybe I’ll decide to become an entrepreneur. Yet, that idea was too far-fetched, for I absolutely loathe perplexing numerical figures. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll have the money or the time to be moving there anytime soon.
With Oregon crossed out, I began to consider options that would be tuition-friendly. To my surprise, I thought I encountered the answer to my prayers: the UCI Career Center. A bright poster read, “It takes approximately three to about five months to find an entry-position job.” That totally crushed my hopes, for I knew that I’d have to spend about a month doing the famous “-ing” with a click of my shiny button Googling, surfing, Yahooing, Microsofting and that even with various attempts to post my resume on Zotlink, I’d have to wait a couple more months before I could find a suitable job. If I got lucky, I’d probably end up with a job that could pay for my edibles—not the cheap frozen food, Campbell soup crap. Unfortunately, I started my job-hunting a bit too late.
My pessimistic approach was probably just a reminder that procrastination is not the way to college life. I realize now that the first step I must take is to frantically search through Fastweb.com, learn to cook edible food without burning the kitchen, buy a piggybank and lastly, to have an open mind and reduce my fast food nights. Oregon may in fact be the best option, but I’m still counting on crossing those fingers to save me from quadrupling my college debt.