I Came, I Saw, I Conquered (In Half the Time)

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Barring unforeseen happenings, I'll be graduating this month, fewer than two years after crossing the stage in my high school graduation. Some have called me a "tool" for this, while others have fawned in amazement over how somebody can do that.

I feel neither reaction is warranted, but either way, I have no regrets about the path I have taken.

How did I do it? Lots of Advanced Placement credit from high school and solid planning - I immediately picked a major and took note of all graduation requirements and bureaucratic policies before stepping foot on this campus.

My motivation was simple. Although many readers of my conservative column this past year have called me "privileged," I would differ from that assessment. My parents are deemed far too rich to allow me to qualify for need-based grants, but they have nowhere near the resources needed to shell out $100,000 for a four-year degree.

And I was certainly not willing to take on tens of thousands in loans for a social science degree that probably qualifies me to be a glorified secretary.

Despite all the complaining we hear, people generally like college - rightfully so. Most of us have few responsibilities, but lots of time to smoke and drink. You can pursue whatever passion you may have - a passion you may know that you'll be forced to abandon once you're out of here and have a 9-to-5. That's why many are confused on how somebody can be happy leaving college after two years.

Partly, my answer is that I've had a hell of a good time in college. For all the talk of how Berkeley's party scene is weak, I've tremendously enjoyed the opportunity to go drinking three nights in a row on a somewhat regular basis. Road trips, game days - all great fun.

I've met a range of very diverse range of individuals who have enriched my thinking. And I can't help but thank my predecessor here as o-page editor, Kelly Fitzpatrick, for letting me write my polemics for the Daily Cal, an especially memorable experience.

Am I losing something by graduating early? Sure - there are relationships that I probably would have put more effort into if I did not think I would leave this place so soon. All too often, I asked myself out of sheer laziness, "What's the point, if I'll barely see this person after next year?"

Perhaps that is my greatest regret about graduating quickly. My mother always talks fondly of the close relationships she established at university, some of which she has maintained for the two decades since. Four years are certainly more conducive toward that than two.

Unfortunately, that's not the way life works. Just as the staff of this paper has to obey deadlines to put out a newspaper four mornings a week, we all live under deadlines, self-imposed or otherwise. Our job is to make the most of life within these bounds.

Have I done so - have I made the most of these two years? Not to the degree I could have; more importantly, however, I learned about the process of making the most of the time you do have.

Life doesn't end at graduation. After this summer, I'm off to three years of law school and then, God willing, will work as a practicing attorney. I may never again have the free time I did in college. Some missed opportunities are never again going to present themselves to me. Yet, as I leave one world behind, I cannot help but be excited to enter a whole new one opening up for me.

Tags: GRAD ISSUE 2010

Fly the coop with Roman at [email protected]

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