Timeless Fables for Every College Student
By Hallie Cantor
The Anti-Drug Activist and the Grass-Smoking Guitar Player There once was an anti-drug activist and a grass-smoking guitar player. Both of them were in a class where the final was worth 50% of their grade. The anti-drug activist studied hard all semester long, learning the material as it was taught and committing it to memory. Meanwhile, the grass-smoking guitar player skipped lecture to hang out on the quad, singing and dancing and slacklining. When finals period arrived, the guitar player had no idea what would be on the exam. He begged the anti-drug activist for his study guide, but the activist said, "Next semester don't waste all your time being a fucking pothead." But the grass-smoking guitar player took an Adderall and stayed up all night studying and got a B-, which really isn't so bad. The Dorm Frosh and the Off-Campus Frosh There once was a dormitory freshman and an off-campus freshman. The proud off-campus frosh came to visit the dorm frosh, and he turned his nose up at the simple offerings at the dining hall (for of course the dorm frosh was on a meal plan) and the small party he attended in the dorm frosh's cramped but cozy dorm room. The off-campus frosh proposed that the following weekend, he would show the dorm frosh the finer things in his off-campus house: the quirky used furniture he and his roommates had bought at yard sales and Salvation Army, and the spacious kitchen where the off-campus frosh cooked a lot of microwave pizza, and the terrifying basement that smelled like mildew and drunk spiders. But as the two freshmen made Easy Mac for dinner, the dorm frosh noticed that the off-campus frosh's house was disgusting, because no one ever cleaned the kitchen or bathroom or other common spaces, and the shower was broken because landlords are way more annoying to deal with than campus facilities. The dorm frosh returned home, deciding that he preferred a clean and functional dorm to the independence of renting a ramshackle house that thousands of students have also lived in and never cleaned. The Tortoise Owner and the Hair Straightener There once was a pair of new roommates who were both nervous about making friends. The more outgoing one (who happened to have naturally wavy hair but use a hair straightener on it every day) had already friended every single person in the Facebook group for the class. When she arrived at school, she went around from door to door, introducing herself IRL to her hallmates and their parents while they were trying to say their goodbyes in peace. Her roommate, who had brought her pet tortoise to college in a small glass terrarium, was more of an introvert. On the first night at school, she sat in their dorm room, sadly looking at pictures of her high school friends and petting her tortoise's shell while crying a little bit. When the hair straightener returned to the room after an optional Orientation event called "Icebreakers and Italian Ices," she laughed at the tortoise owner for being unpopular. A month later, however, everyone in their hallway had met real friends that they actually had something in common with beyond being randomly placed in the same dorm. The tortoise owner was the president of the Animal Lovers Society, where she had met many like-minded students who shared her passion for land-dwelling reptile ownership, and the hair straightener had made no real friends because she was kind of an annoying bitch. The tortoise continued to be awesome. The Goof that Laid the Golden Keg A group of friends were all under 21, so they couldn't get a keg themselves for their parties. One Friday night, the most annoying one (who everyone kind of hated) came home with a keg full of crisp golden beer on a dolly! His friends were glad to have access to alcohol, but they didn't really want to hang out with this weird goofball with the apparently killer fake ID. So they stole his wallet. Once they opened it up, however, they saw that there was nothing in it but his hometown library card and a Starbucks card that didn't even have any money on it. It turned out that the goof had gotten his 22-year-old brother to rent the keg for him, but now that his friends had stolen from him, the goof would never help them again. "Alas!" said his asshole friends. "If we'd only stayed friends with him, we could've continued cruelly using him for our own gain!" Then they went and asked a senior they knew and he let them borrow his ID so it was whatever. The Fox and the Grades There once was an undergraduate who was so good-looking and charming that he had never been rejected by a girl. One semester, he had a big crush on his graduate psychology TA, and he would spend the entire weekly discussion section staring at her. As a result, he was a terrible student, and the TA gave him a C on his first paper for the course. The fox went to the TA's office hours to discuss his grade, expecting that his handsome face would get her to change her mind instantly. But the TA held fast and explained that the fox had totally misunderstood the essay topic of cognitive dissonance. The fox left her office muttering to himself, "You aren't even that hot anyway. I don't need some lesbo grad student wasting my time." He dropped the class as soon as he got home. Then he went to a bar, got drunk, and slept with a freshman.