Back to School 2010: How to Avoid Real Work in College 

click to enlarge CHAD KIRKLAND
Lately, good news about jobs and the economy is as hard to come by as a buyer for that overpriced downtown loft you bought three years ago. At times like these, it’s ever tempting to tell The Man to stick it—not go postal or anything—but perhaps shout a parting shot over the office intercom and make an impressive exit down an emergency chute or fire escape. Then quickly go register for classes at the best local college that will admit you and bestow upon you some decent financial aid.

Here’s our take: While you’re enrolled in college, you bloody well better celebrate your newfound reality-free bubble, walled off as you are from maturity and corporate slavery and looming loan debt. That’s not to say you should ignore your schoolwork or drop out, because the whole reason to go to college is to get a degree (some would dare to say: “get educated”)—and to accomplish that, you gotta pass your classes.

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Read more!
How to Avoid Real Work in College
How to Gain the Freshman 15
Decorating & Dressing on a Student Budget
Discovering Uncanny Utah
Looking for Love Online
Resources for LGBT Students
Finding Your Religion
Utah's Best Concerts: Fall 2010
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College is a time when “the real world” and “your typical day” are distant cousins. Classes can be scheduled to accommodate night owls and ski bums. If a trip to the West Coast is needed to see a concert by your favorite band, just skip a few days of school. You’ll remember the concert a lot longer than you will the tedious book learning.

College is a time to ask the big questions about love, identity and purpose. At least, that’s what our summer interns, who wrote the features for this issue, tell us.

Ashton Strait offers tips on procrastination and embracing your inner Fat Bastard.

Alice Chen grapples with why on earth anyone would willingly choose to matriculate in Utah. She also gets into the headspace of two local college students who happen to be gay and offers a directory to local LGBTQ resources.

Keyra Kristoffersen is a tour guide of enlightenment, offering a hit list of alternative spiritual paths to explore. She will also dress you for less and then help you hook up online while you’re looking good.

We can’t sign off without a special shout-out to the fine Wolverines of Utah Valley University: May we say we love you, even if we have no UVU-adorned students on the cover? You’ve given us three great summer interns in a row. Please send hoodies (and more interns).

How to Avoid Real Work in College
A guide to avoiding real work in college.

It’s a scenario every college student faces: You’re sitting in the library for hours, buried under a pile of books, and you realize that if you have to conjugate one more Spanish verb or memorize the birth date of another Russian czar you’re going to lose your mind. What to do? If you’re a student at the University of Utah, there are any number of ways to waste time without venturing far from campus.

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The Utah Museum of Fine Arts provides a guilt-free study break. Even if you’re putting off that 10-page paper, at least you’re enriching yourself. If that paper happens to be for an art-history class, head to the Utah Museum of Natural History and while away an hour with the dinosaurs in Paleontology Hall. The best part: Both museums are free with your student ID.

For those whose guilty consciences won’t let them leave the cloister of the Marriott Library, steal away to enjoy the special-collections department—the current exhibit is about Pulitzer Prize-winning U alumnus Wallace Stegner. Out-of-towners might also enjoy the Annie Clark Tanner Western Americana Collection, which focuses on Utah, Mormons and the West. Pop into Mom’s Café on the first floor of the library to get a quick caffeine fix before resigning yourself to the stacks again.

When your dorm room starts to feel suffocating during the warmer months, enjoy the magnificent array of natural life at Red Butte Garden, also free with your student ID. Red Butte has amazing volunteer opportunities for those interested in horticulture or botany, ranging from plant preservation to pruning to teaching workshops for kids. During the winter, volunteer in the greenhouse at Red Butte, or take a fun exercise break with a couple of friends by reserving a table-tennis court at the University Field House, and relax afterward in its saunas.

For those plan-ahead procrastinators, the Outdoor Recreation Program offers weekly workshops like kayak roll practice (every Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m.) as well as monthly river rafting, hiking, and camping trips if you want to get away for more than a day.

The U hosts a farmers market every Thursday morning during the fall, and you’ll need those fresh fruits, vegetables and baked goods to power up for an intense day of not studying. Get pumped up with an evening dance class at the Repertory Dance Theatre. For $10, you can drop in on one of their many offerings, from zumba to flamenco to ballroom.

The Ray A. Olpin Student Union is a one-stop shop for diversions year-round. The Union services desk offers discounted passes to Lagoon and Raging Waters in the summer, and to all seven of the area’s ski resorts in the winter, as well as discounted movie tickets. Need money or transportation to get to these diversions? You can cash a check there and get a discounted bus pass, too. If you have a friend who is willing to play hooky with you, the Union has a bowling alley and billiards tables. If the great weather’s too big of a draw, buy a package of balloons at the services desk and have a water-balloon fight outside with your fellow procrastinators.

Finally, if you do manage to buckle down on that workload and are looking to reacquaint yourself with the real world, grab a copy of the U’s award-winning newspaper, The Daily Utah Chronicle (or “Chrony”) and go lay your vitamin D-deprived self out on one of the campus’ many beautiful greens to soak up a revitalizing dose of sunshine. If your brain is already overloaded with current events from your poli sci class, skip the Chrony and track down a copy of Enormous Rooms, the U’s underground literary journal featuring poetry, short fiction and critical essays from the U's undergraduate creative community. 

Next: Back to School 2010: How to Gain the Freshman 15

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