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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Friends in tuition

  • A couple of nights ago, a college buddy and I were comparing the total cost of attendance during our respective university careers.

    I graduated in May and he’ll graduate in December.
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  • A couple of nights ago, a college buddy and I were comparing the total cost of attendance during our respective university careers.
    I graduated in May and he’ll graduate in December.
    His total was a bit higher than mine, but both of us paid five-figures — still a bargain compared to some other schools.
    Had we combined our investments elsewhere, we could have shared a shiny new Porsche.
    “College is so impossible,” I said. “How did we do it?”
    “It’s literally undoable,” he answered (facetiously).
    But I know how we did it. Sweat. Literal sweat and figurative sweat. Brain sweat, too. If your brain sweats that is. I was not a biology major.
    Also with money. Our own money. Our family’s money. The government’s money. Even that dollar a fuzzy-headed Ninja-Turtles-shirt-wearing student generously gave me that one day without expecting anything back so that I could buy a Snickers from the vending machine because I’m not me when I’m hungry. That helped, too.
    This is the first time ever in my life I’ve headed into a fall semester with no school left in front of me.
    People ask me if that’s a weird feeling. Honestly, I’ve hardly thought about it.  
    They keep me busy here at the News-Star. Maybe if I still hadn’t found a job I might have time to miss being on campus. But swapping one routine for another doesn’t make much of a difference to me — as long as I’m doing something.
    No, I don’t miss the studying, the group projects, the homework, the early morning classes. The best feeling you get after graduating is knowing that your off time is really yours. No one else’s.
    I will miss the people I met during that time. But not many of them are still on campus, and in another year I’ll be a complete stranger to nearly every student there.
    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed college. But as with most things in life, it’s always the people that make the memory. As long as we have stories to tell (and retell) with our friends, no time in our life ever has to leave us.

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