My aspiration and my reality weren’t aligned

Steven Bushong

Credit: DKS Editors

Listen, freshmen: Sleep through class. Do it like I did, stupidly, and you’ll see what happens. You’ll see your grades fall, your emotions twist, your family become upset and your friends tire of your complaining.

“Oh, I’m doing so crappy, and I don’t know why,” you’ll tell them. “Kent State sucks.”

Blah. Blah. Blah.

You’re in college now. You have to be serious.

Only one person is going to get you out of bed in the morning – you.

Do not believe time will be set back for you. It won’t.

Perhaps, from time to time, there will be a slight break in the rules and stipulations clause of daily life. Perhaps, for instance, you’ll get a somewhat unwarranted extension from a generous professor on a midterm paper. But you probably won’t.

Maybe you will telepathically understand the material your teacher is talking about in class, digesting it through brain waves while you sleep, drooling on the desk. It happened to me once or twice. But it’s rare, real rare – like a blue steak. That’s disgusting.

I’m a vegetarian, and when I compare sleeping through class to a blue steak, cold and bloody on the plate, I mean it.

Listen, skipping a chapter in Introduction to Sociology isn’t the end of the world, but doing it once leads to further repetition and eventually addiction. And when I say “addiction,” I mean a class-skipping/homework-missing addiction.

I’d recommend that if you skip a class in your first three weeks at college, you should drop out and save some money until you’re serious.

I wish I would have.

Because of my bad grades and lack of direction, I’m going to be here for another two years – six years total. And that equals debt: deep red debt, which I’ll be climbing out of for the next 20 years of my life.

My problem was that my aspiration and my reality weren’t aligned. I wanted to drum in a successful band – go on tour, be on the radio, hold an ego.

This whole journalism thing – and actually wanting to be scholarly – is a recent development. The grind, a few years ago, was that I was in school for journalism, and my punk band was connectionless and without extraordinary talent. The music industry isn’t nice to nobodies.

But I failed to grasp that concept, and I kept fantasizing over rock stardom instead of concentrating on schoolwork.

School sucks about 50 percent of the time, but when you’re facing failure and the possibility of joining the army – despite being overwhelmingly liberal and impossibly anti-war, like me – school seems like a holiday.

I hate to quote Nike’s tired slogan, but just do it – go to class, do your homework. I guess, however, if you’re like me, you’re going to need a kick in the ass to get moving.

Consider this your kick.

And this is the end of my experienced rambling. Just do well or get out. That’s all I’m saying.

Steven Bushong is a senior news major and news editor for the Summer Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].