When I look in the mirror lately, I cringe, and this time it’s not because I suddenly realized that I look like the bastard child of Andy Samberg and a dimpled chipmunk. I just look like the living dead. The bags under my eyes are carrying bags of their own, and my actual eyes are so bloodshot that my roommate asked me, “So, when’d you get into the habit of smoking up before class?”
Yes, with the third week of classes comes the first wave of papers, midterms and random roommate drug tests, and the stress is on. But we can’t let sleeplessness and peeing in a cup get in the way of what Northwestern’s really all about: vicious competition.
It goes a little something like this:
Scene: Lisa’s Café, 1:30 a.m. Zombie-like creatures stumble about in a zombie-like state, although several of them are actually students and not zombies. While these students perform a cost-benefits analysis of various energy drinks, a conversation breaks out.
Wild-eyed Youth 1: Oh man, I’m so tired.
Crazed Tool, likely in Medill: Yeah? I’m really tired. I’m ridiculously tired. I’m more tired than Mars is cold, dry and red. Fact check that shit, it’s true.
Actual zombies invade Lisa’s and eat everyone’s brains. Fin.
I’ve heard some form of this conversation at least eight million times, and find it pathetically indicative of our academic climate that we actually compete over who is dying the fastest. That’s the stuff that should be in the brochures all the prospies ardently flip through; that’s what the tour guides should be telling the high schoolers: “If you look behind you, you’ll see the beautiful lakefill. If you’re Northwestern enough, you’ll drown yourself in it by Winter Quarter. Any questions? Questions from the parents?”
The ironic part, though, is that the true test of who has it worst has nothing to do with bloodshot eyes, a lack of hand-eye coordination or the barren planet of Mars. No sir. The person most stressed is the one wearing the laciest, reddest, most see-through, most absolutely sextacular undies.
Now, this first appears to be a contradiction, right? Girls wear sexy underwear when they’ve curled their eyelashes and marinated in perfume and generally plan on getting laid that night, right? Well, yeah. But there’s a dark side to skanky underwear.
The more stressed you get, the less you have time for sleeping, eating, doing laundry, reading moxie… all travesties, to be sure. But while not sleeping and eating provide the usual signs of near-death stress, not doing laundry has the opposite effect: your comfy, typical “day” undies steadily migrate from the top drawer to the deflated mesh net you call your hamper (sigh).
First the hipsters go. Then you break into the granny panties. Then come the comfortable thongs, probably the five-for-$25 deal from Victoria’s Secret PINK (The caps-lock is the brand’s, not my own expression of excitement). And then one day, you open that top drawer, and realize you’ve hit bottom: It’s going to be a satin, zebra-print G-string day at Deering Library.
Gentlemen, you may be skeptical, but just ask any of your lady friends about this sad truth: Buy a girl a drink, she’ll humor you for five minutes. Take her to the library, and be rewarded by a peek of gold lace when she bends down to pick up her History of the Holocaust course packet.
So competition be damned, unless it involves unzipping flies. Good luck with your midterms and papers, Northwestern, and I’ll see you in the stacks. I’ll be the one who looks like Samberg/chipmunk and has no visible panty lines.