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June 10, 2017

If you’re not at NCAAs, give something else a college try

The odds that you are an athlete participating in this week’s NCAA championships AND reading this article are relatively low. Of the more than 1,000,000 high school athletes that participate in track and field, only ~56,000 men and women go on to compete at the NCAA level. Of that, only ~2500 of them make it to the big oval dance. So, if you are an NCAA athlete and you are reading this, there’s about a 4% chance that you’re in Eugene right now sneezing due to the air quality, running in circles, or heaving enormous weights.

For the rest of us, we can only watch these college kids in their proverbial golden days, feeling a certain twang of nostalgia to relive those days ourselves. For this nostalgia, I have a simple cure: this weekend while you go about your adult errands, like eating a high fiber diet and washing your sheets more than once a year, indulge your inner early-21 year old and approach these menial everyday tasks with the sleepy, inebriated demeanor of a college kid.

As a sophisticated and savvy reader of Citius Mag, I’m sure you’re a repository of ideas of tasks you can give a good ol’ fashioned college try. Either way, I’ve provided some thought starters.

Go to work wearing sweatpants

Do you remember the days when the only class you had was at noon and you rolled out of bed at 11:55 so you could make it on time? Did you change? Or did you stroll to class wearing the sweatpants you were sleeping in?

Ask your parents for money

Even if you don’t need it.

Gain some weight

One of the most boring things about being an adult is trying to figure out how to cram in as many fruits and vegetables as the government tells you. If you show me a 30-year-old who says “I haven’t thought about drinking a Mountain Dew since I was 20,” I’ll show you a liar and someone you shouldn’t trust. Throw caution to the wind this weekend and eat McDonald’s for all three meals in a day.

Do something you are woefully unprepared for

Cramming: it’s a hallmark of the college experience.

There’s probably a class you had once a week, and you skipped all 16 of them to play hacky sack on the quad. Now there’s a final and the only thing to do is try to study for the 10 consecutive hours leading up to the test. You make it to the final. You whizz through it, trying to sneeze as much information onto the page before your newly acquired knowledge leaks out of your ear and out into the ether. You’re the first one done–you told your buddy you’d lend him your Bob Marley tapestry and you need to meet him in ten minutes. Four weeks later you remember that the grades were posted online the day after the test. You reset your password to gain access to the page and find out that you got a C-. Thank god.

Anyway, as an adult you’d like to think you learned a thing or two. But in the spirit of NCAAs, please go out and try running a marathon on Sunday. And to make sure you’re prepared, go ahead and run 20 miles Saturday night. Don’t learn your lesson and try again next semester.

Do something while terribly hungover

The summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college I was invited to run a local 5K back in my hometown. I knew the woman who put it on and she waived the registration fee because she knew I was broke. Her one stipulation was that I had to win the race, because “No local kid has ever won the race before.”

Fast forward to the night before the race. I offered to be the designated driver for a handful of friends who were attending a “Welcome Back” party for one of our mutual pals who had spent the past two years on some Deadliest Catch-style dinghy out in the middle-of-nowhere Alaska. True story! Anyway, I get to the party and yada, yada, yada someone else ends up driving me home because I couldn’t resist partaking in the festivities.

The next day my alarm goes off at 6 a.m. and I remember, well shit, I need to go run a road race. I slip on my shoes and head toward the starting line. I get all checked-in and make my way to the starting area to scope out the competition. Would I be able to get away with a leisurely jog? Not today, friends, because I spotted some long haired chowderhead that I used to race against in high school. We make eye contact. There’s a blood in the water, dear reader, and this walking granola bar is the shark.

Gun goes off and I make the ill-informed decision to take it from the gun, probably because I’m still intoxicated. Nothing of note happens until about the 2.5 mile mark, when this kid pulls parallel with me. We are entering the final stretch of the race, and we have locals lining the road, ravenous road racing fans frothing at the mouth. The finish line is in sight and we’re sprinting now. My legs feel fine, I’m breathing alright and I have it in the bag except that I don’t because my body tells me that I’m about to barf. With 200 meters to go I pull up and vomit probably 50-60 ounces of the Rocky Mountain’s finest malt beverage. The kid goes on to win the race, and I jog in for 2nd.

Afterwards, the race director comes up to me. She’s wearing a look that let’s me know she is not happy. I tell her that I threw up and apologize I couldn’t take one for the team. She twists her face into something between smelling a fart and finding a piece of hair in her food. I went home and slept until two in the afternoon.

If you made it this far and you’re still following along with the crux of this tenuously constructed argument, then the moral of that story is that everything kind of worked out for me, and now I have a dumb story to tell about being an idiot kid.

What can you do as an adult hungover? Why not attend a loved one’s wedding or an elementary school graduation, maybe even church! Unless you reek of booze, it’ll be your little secret and you’ll feel so miserable about yourself you’ll likely never do anything like that again.

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