The Eighth Page

Phillipian Satire: A Response To the Notion That Freshmen are Allowed to be Stressed: ‘No, You Can’t.’

Look, kid, you don’t even know what the word stress means. As a fully-grown Senior, let me educate you a little on the real world that I am totally a part of. It’s full of meanies that will try to kick you out six times because they found out you were harboring naked mole rats in your room to breed and sell on the black market to support your wife and her six adopted children. You told her to stop at five, but no no, she had to have six because she wanted an “even number.” Yeah, right. Who’s gonna care if they can’t hold each others’ hands and pair up in an emergency, Brenda? I mean, God, after a couple kids you kind of hit a point of diminishing returns on the amount of joy you get back. The first kid was a great one, but they really started to go downhill after the third.

Either way, Freshmen, as the fourth child in my family to have gone through this diploma-mill carnival torture show, lemme tell you that you know nothing about stress. Sure, you might’ve had a couple late nights chatting with your friends while worrying about your math test, or maybe you’ve even had an all-nighter or two — but have you ever had to look down the barrel of a 12-gauge shotgun in your living room as you told your landlord that for the fifth time that year you couldn’t scrape the money together to pay the rent because you spent all day at the dog races?

Have you ever had to sell a kidney to your science teacher so you could save enough money to buy monkey bread at The Den? Have you? I didn’t think so. Just know that next time I’m cutting my toenails with a rusty axe because school supplies for my kids are expensive and I couldn’t afford nail clippers, I’ll be thinking about your “stress” and how little it means to an 18-year-old like me, with real problems.