Things I Won't Miss About College

by Jennifer Garfinkel | 5/23/08 3:36am

The Mirror's seniors on the steps of Robinson Hall.
by Tilman Dette and Tilman Dette / The Dartmouth

When our editor told us that the last Mirror spread of the year would be dedicated to the ruminations of our graduating contributors, she also told us that she wanted to avoid us all being overly sentimental. I gladly took up the challenge by heading straight for bitter and cynical instead. As a wise and all-knowing senior, I now present to you the top 10 things I won't miss about college. In no particular order, they are:


I spent the first few years of college defending our BlitzMail system to friends from home who relentlessly teased me about the goofy name and harassed me to justify why BlitzMail was superior to any other e-mail system. Some of my reasoning was crap, some of it was legitimate -- I'm sure many of you can relate. But now, it's time to admit it: BlitzMail kind of sucks. For heaven's sake, all I want is to be able to open my HTML e-mails. Is that so much to ask from one of the country's leading undergraduate institutions?

Canoe Club

Someone has to say it: It's just not that good. Great place for a drink, great place for lunch, but dinner is just not that special. The meat is often dry, the fish is inconsistent, and the gnocci is too rich. The duck on the old menu was my go-to staple -- the one dish I found to be consistently prepared well -- but now that's gone, and I soon will be too.

Paying a premium for tomatoes

Does anyone else remember this? Perhaps I'm just dating myself. For most of you, this was before your time. I wouldn't lose sleep over it, but suffice it to say that you should hope another tomato shortage doesn't arise before your respective graduations.

Binge drinking

When this one first popped into my head, I knew it would be naive and foolish to include it on my list. After all, I've spent a few off terms in the big city and I should know that my drinking doesn't necessarily curb when I leave campus. We've all been there -- wandering the streets of the East Village alone at 3 a.m. (perhaps in the rain if you're as unlucky as me) trying to hail a cab, all the while sending incoherent text messages you'll regret the next day. But my last Green Key weekend was coming to an end as I sat down to write this, and I remembered that a few days earlier, as I sat with my head in a garbage can, I had sworn to myself that come June I would make binge drinking a thing of the past.

Academic jargon

Modernism, post-modernism, discourse, identity, context, perspective, temporality, transracial, globalization, socialization, privatization, nationalism, ad nauseam.


I know that the world won't stop gossiping just because I'm graduating from college. There will always be gossip around the water cooler or around the Thanksgiving table. But people around here have gossip fever, and they've got it bad. It's not really my business who has what STD (er, STI?) or whose penis curves to the left. This isn't to say that I myself am a saint, but I know that the only way to keep a secret a secret here is to tell absolutely no one. It's a good lesson to learn.

People asking me what I'm doing next year

I think my highest count to date is five inquiries in one day (that's about once every three hours if you discount hours spent sleeping). Listen suckers, I still don't know what I'm doing next year. Stop asking.

Frat basements

Somewhere between the grime and the socializing in subterranean, male-dominated spaces for four years is the fact that I will not miss fraternity basements upon graduation. Twelve-dollar martinis here I come.

People who don't listen

It is my belief that people at this school are generally extremely self-centered. Sure, we all have a handful of friends who will genuinely listen to us vent or give us advice in love and in life, but the majority of people around here just want to talk at you. Sure, they'll pretend to be in a two-way conversation, but whatever you say somehow always seems to relate back to them -- and that's if they even heard what you said. If you don't know what I'm talking about, consider yourself lucky.

The old gym, the interim gym and the need to reserve a treadmill in advance

Students who have matriculated in the last two years have no idea how good they have it. Let those of us older and wiser never forget the sweaty hell that was "the interim gym." Let us also not forget the original gym, whose initials aptly spelled KFC (gotta love the irony). I can no longer remember what KFC stood for, but may the days of working out in a 20 by 10-foot room alongside every member of the student body rest in peace.