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College Freshmen: Life Sucks

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College freshmen are more miserable than they have been in 25 years.

That's not an opinion: The New York Times is reporting this, based on new survey of more than 200,000 college students.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Women have less positive views of their emotional health than men. (Which may make you wonder: Are men happier—or just less realistic.)
  • The economy is lousy. (You didn't need the New York Times to tell you that.)
  • There's a lot of pressure to get an MBA or PhD (If it's any consolation, you'll soon discover how incredibly mediocre most people with advanced degrees are.)
  • College kids take a lot of prescription pills. (Yep.)
  • Experts believe you will be less successful than your parents. (Hence, the pills.)
  • Guys like sports—and it can be a lot of fun to hit somebody. (I miss college.)

I'm not going to lie to you: It gets worse.

In a couple of years you'll have to get a real job. And you'll have to pay rent.

Paying rent, especially in New York City, is awful. But what's worse than paying rent is the fact that you won't live in a dorm—surrounded, all hours of the day and night, by attractive members of the opposite sex. (Or, the same-sex: Whatever you're into.)

No one is going to 'force' you to read anything interesting—like philosophy or sociology. You're going to listen to the music you love a lot less. Colors will seem less bright.

But the worst part of all is this: People you know to be complete idiots will make a lot more money than you do.

You will run into them over the years from time to time.

And you'll have to pretend you like them—because that's what adults do.

They'll probably tell you about their 'careers'. If they're married, they'll almost certainly tell you about their husbands or wives. (And heaven help you if they have children.)

If your old college acquaintances are more awful than usual, they'll tell you about the beach house they just bought—and possibly even about their 401K or stock options.

It will make you wonder how you can even bear it.

Yes, as the great 20th Century philosopher Ally Sheedy once observed: "When you grow up, your heart dies."

But don't worry: You still get to drink.

Like, a lot.

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