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You think we’re carefree?

Price is a junior broadcast major and can be contacted at ryan.price@drake.edu

I have a confession to make. I really hated when the (rich, important) alumni visited last fall for the kickoff of “distinctlyDrake.”

While I sincerely appreciate the philanthropy offered by our alumni and their willingness to visit campus again, it just bothers me when people are haughty-taughty.

This dislike stems from one small incident I encountered as I was walking from 34th Street back to my then-home in Goodwin-Kirk.

Crossing 30th Street, on the phone with my parents, I passed a man and woman in suits.

Seeing me on the phone, the guy commented to his suited partner: “Ah, the carefree life of a college student.”

I literally halted, mid-crosswalk and looked around.

My eyes were peeled for some kids smoking pot while prancing around with the Drake squirrels in total zen-like tranquility while Bob Marley played in the background.

I saw no such kids.

In fact, I saw no one near me.

It then took all but the self-control of a monk not to turn to this man, slap him and inform him of just how many important cares I had.

Besides the two papers due that week, I somehow had to be active in multiple organizations while maintaining a social life, doing laundry, eating, staying in touch with parents, working out and simply figuring out what I wanted to do with my life.

What did this guy have to do?

Probably go work from 9 to 5 in some suit coat that makes him feel important that day and then eat some nice salmon dinner in a La-Z-Boy recliner while watching repeats of Seinfeld and M*A*S*H.

Ah, the carefree life of a working adult. No homework, no tests, no papers, no campus organizations, no social lives.

This line of reasoning felt great, and I sat on it for a while.

Eventually though, certain adult obligations came to mind. This guy probably had to take care of mortgages, car payments, bills, food and children. Sucker.

I then began trying to think of a time in my past when I was truly carefree.

I thought back to my past:

“Oh, how carefree I was in high school, though.”

But if high school-Ryan heard college-Ryan say that, he would probably say.

“Ryan, seriously, I thought you’d lay off your crack habit by now. I have two worksheets of pre-calculus, a mythology test and all these organizations. Plus, I need to figure out where I’m going to college and, to top it all off, I need to decide whether to look like a tool with Abercrombie or American Eagle tomorrow.”

Then I thought of what this man, who chided my “carefree life,” would say about working adults in 30 years.

“Ah, the carefree life of a working adult,” is the most likely response.

I bet when we get to the end of our lives, far into the future, we will look back and realize, “shoot, we were really carefree the whole time.”

Those tests, those organizations, those mortgages, those children.

They were all fortunate privileges, not burdensome obligations.

The distinction is critical.

So yes, old important rich guy in the suit, I’m pretty fortunate and lucky to have things to care about, and so are you.


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