I’m writing this letter today because I don’t feel very good about how our relationship ended. More particularly, I received your notice for “exit interview,” as issued through my school, and I am confused. Apparently, or so the nice folks in the financial aid department have informed me, you’re now asking that I pay back all the money that you lent me over the course of my last five years of education??
Isn’t this kind of extreme? And your suggestion for “exit counseling” made me laugh. More than laugh. Guffaw, actually, whatever that is. Exit counseling, Sallie, really? Come on. This is me. Don’t get all weird on me now or legal, especially when I’ll probably need you to hold tight for a few years as I spend what I can of my hand-to-mouth income, all my spare change, on rice and marijuana.
If anyone, no offense, but you probably need some counseling yourself. I mean it was you who continually supported my need to give away my brightest ideas—ideas I begged my university professors, in ten- to twelve-page papers, hyper-formatted to the proper academic style-guide, to take from me, to rip to shreds, to tell me to do it again, and again. Does this seem healthy to you? I paid thousands and thousands of dollars to be torn to shreds on a weekly basis. Where was your advice for counseling then, when I was drinking myself nightly into comatose?
Please do not get me wrong. I am, and have been, very thankful for your financial assistance—loans, apparently, or so they now tell me—but it wasn’t always the greatest for me, nor, obviously, will it prove to be. For one, besides a university sweatshirt and a STD, all I’m really taking away from my “college experience” is the need to find work for the next thirty years so as to indenture myself to the number of fine financial institutions that have gladly issued me credit cards.
And as for what my future relationships look like, how happy do you really expect me to be with my highly refined penchant for over-analyzing non-analyzable things?
Why did my girlfriend mention “ceremony” three times in the course of our conversation? What recurring theme is playing out in this prenuptial scene? How does my tone towards family holidays, in general, and kids, more specifically, affect the meaning of the piece? Why this particular point of view? Where is this setting? Why in the form of a letter? What is the author trying to say? (And why all the meta?)
As far as “what I plan to do with my degree,” I defer to Dr. Seuss, the Law of Attraction and the American Dream. Carpe diem, I will say, I will tell myself. Live the dream. Seize the day. Reach for the moon because even if you miss you’ll land in the stars. Be the change you want to see et cetera. How’s that for my exit, Sallie? “Will you succeed?” Dr. Seuss asks. “Yes, you will indeed. (98¾% guaranteed.)” And if you don’t? If I don’t? Well, then, I could always teach.
Begging for Mercy