CAMPUS – After four difficult years of adapting to college life, Engineering senior Patrick Fullham reports that, at long last, he has managed to piece together a balance among work, school, and social commitments in the final two weeks before his graduation.
“Yeah, I feel like I’m finally locked into a schedule that works for me, and I’m really glad I was finally able to kick my dependence on both Adderall and Ambien,” said Fullham, the soon-to-be-graduate who is currently unaware that the grueling stress and soul-crushing 80-hour workweeks of his future career will likely lead him down a path towards heavy substance abuse within the next three to five months.
Fullham also noted that, in these last few weeks of his undergraduate experience, his social life has begun to click as well. After nearly four years of living with distant acquaintances and total strangers, engaging in forced friendships with classmates interested more in his lecture notes than his personality, and getting dragged to house parties full of loud, immature freshmen, he recently connected with a group of friends that “seem to actually enjoy hanging out with [him].”
As of this reporting, Fullham remains unaware that he will irrevocably lose contact with these new companions almost as soon as he moves to a subdivision outside of Dallas in 30 days. Sources close to Fullham stated that he has even developed his first romantic fling since seventh grade with fellow senior Karissa Popescu. He admitted that his new relationship, which officially began earlier this month, has vastly improved his outlook on life. Although he struggled with depression earlier in his college career and contemplated dropping out multiple times, he admitted that he has recently begun waking up in the morning with a sense of purpose, rather than having to constantly negotiate the chronic feelings of boredom, self-doubt, and worthlessness that defined his first three years and six months at this institution.
However, sources report that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has already processed the paperwork to have Popescu, a citizen of Greece who was unable to obtain work authorization, taken back to her family in Thessaloniki following graduation, which will ultimately leave Fullham in a cold and damaged emotional state and/or a shell of the man he is now.
When asked how his situation might change after graduation, Fullham smiled and responded, “Well, that’s the beautiful thing, I’m having so much fun for the first time in a long time that I haven’t even thought about that, but if I did, I guess I’d say…”
He then froze suddenly as a terrible sense of foreboding appeared to wash over him. As the setting sun shone shades of orange and red through his dorm window across his stoic visage, a single tear slowly rolled down the side of his expressionless face.
Originally published: April 2013