Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

College seniors akin to second term presidents

By the time a student’s final term of college rolls around, their mental well-being can be categorized as either happy, sad or confused.
Maybe they are happy because they landed the job they always dreamed of.
Or maybe they are sad because they have yet to formulate a plan that doesn’t include their mother’s basement.
Others might be confused by the definition of three to five years of experience.
Regardless of the endless variables that determine each particular senior’s state of mind, there is one irremovable commonality: they do some weird things.
Straight-A students shotgun a beer for every day until they graduate; accounting majors have mental breakdowns and join the Peace Corps; that buddy who you could have sworn had to be flunking out sobers up just long enough to remember what time his interview was at.
Oddly enough, the end of a two-term presidency has a strikingly similar effect on the human psyche.
No longer are they planning campaigns, passing major legislation or even worrying about what’s left of their political capital.
By the waning days of the eighth year, much like the final term of college, you have done just about everything possible to ensure success.
Whether or not you actually succeeded is unimportant; everyone still hates you and wants you to leave.
During the Obama administration, the U.S. passed groundbreaking health care reform, created new Wall Street regulations, rebuilt the auto industry, made large strides for civil rights,  and (perhaps most notably) pulled the nation out of the most crippling economic downturn since the Great Depression.
And yet, as Obama enters his twilight days in office, he cannot even get Congress to confirm a nomination for Supreme Court.
They would rather the supreme law of the land be about as powerful as a burrito supreme from Taco Bell.
You’ll probably get condescending glances for those other-worldly burps and judgmental groans from your intestines, but at the end of the day, any opinions rendered will be flushed away to the lower courts.
Seniors attempting to rekindle any freshman fires encounter the same problems.
Sure, the zits on your face have cleared, you’ve learned how to use a condom properly and that internship is even paid.
But guess what? You still took her to Taco Bell, insulted her roommate, and “forgot” to call her back.
The misgivings of the last four years, no matter how the story may be personally envisioned, are the only part others remember.
In Obama’s eight year relationship with Congress, he has defied them so many times that they are blinded to any potential accomplishments he may have had.
Congress is that hook-up from freshman year that Obama has tried to ignore for four years.
With the end near, the gloves come off.
No longer is either party worried about offending others.
In two months they’ll probably never see each other again anyway.
Obama has poked fun at Republicans calling them “glum” and “frustrated.”
The president even went so far as to describe the Republican presidential candidates as “cray.”
I am not saying that being a senior in college is similar to being president in all ways, but at this point in their academic, or political, career, all of the most important decisions have been made.
For better or for worse, you will have to live with what you did freshman year.
There’s not much more that can be done; it is the ride-out period.
In the great exiting words of the 14th President of the United States, Franklin Pierce, “There’s nothing left to do but get drunk.”

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College seniors akin to second term presidents