There are No Guarantees

Suggested listening:  Ryan Adams – Political Scientist


These ideas rattle around my mind like empty beer cans on a rented school bus.  The moment’s tall, dark, and handsome, and I ought to fuck it.  The metaphors come dancing, but motivation plays wallflower.  If you’re with me, it looks like we’re on our own on this one.

Why’d you come to university?

I figured I’d chase Gilean’s thick trails of ambition and success, and with childish trust I now mock openly, I assumed the magnets of fate would take hold by fourth year.

What a fucking plan.  I’m fourty Gs in debt, can barely drag my bloated ass out of bed to visit this goddamn probably-bottomless money pit into which I’ve tossed student loan after student loan, my face slapped with a shit-faced grin that so pathetically grew out of sober inner oblivion.  I thought I’d take criminology, but, like Dante and Randall, who did I think I was?  Batman?

Please don’t misread.  This university is an incredible place.  I’ve learned to think, write, and listen in this environment, and met many people of whom I won’t soon let go.  It’s not this school that might be my probably-bottomless money pit.  It’s my lack of hope in my future.

Luke can’t get a girlfriend.  Todd can’t get a job.  I can’t get a sense of direction ‘cause I touched this compass of optimism on the scrap magnet of reality.  Based on conversations I’ve had with call centre workers and astray graduate students, 20-somethings must have a lot of iron in their blood.

I read somewhere that a good percentage of university students are gamblers.  My first year roommate made $12 thousand playing online poker, but dropped out after his next semester.  I’ve never even bought a lottery ticket.  I keep forgetting I’m finally of age.

As I’ve said in an earlier post, I chose in first year to major in journalism.  With foresight like that, it’s a miracle I didn’t take up American real estate and start a Saturn dealership.  I came to school a decent writer, and Hunter Thompson was fun to read.  My decision was made.  I can only assume all other students chose their majors as trivially.

It’s not the poor job prospects in journalism that get me down.  It’s not the lack of creativity in regurgitating inverted-pyramid news structures, or calling thirty people a day to ask questions with answers about which I don’t even care.  It’s that I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but the second-year me signed up for the program with all the enthusiasm Mark Henick has for purple sweaters and Hugo Boss.

(That’s not a slight; that motherfucker knows his colours, and dresses like a champion.)

More to come.

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  • Show Comments (2)

  • Kayla Williston

    I know the feeling. I am in my fourth year as well, and I just can’t find my calling. I wanted to major in Journalism, and found it so fun in my first year, but then I took it in second year and realized just how much I didn’t like it. I want to be creative and have fun at my job, but honestly, I don’t want to write about something if I have no interest.

    If I want to write about stuff that does interest me, I have to write a book, but that will not support me…so I guess Journalism will be my day job. One which I hope will support me until my own writing will.

    Best of luck on your own journey.


  • Mark Henick

    Ahaha. I do indeed enjoy a good purple sweater. I’m also rather fond of a nice sturdy brown shoe. But only with a matching belt. Always match the belt.

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