Oh the (interesting) places you’ll go

By Daniel Martynowicz

Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Suess was one of the first books I ever read on my own. When I graduated from high school, I received about 10 copies from friends and family. Now that I’ve got even more brains in my head and feet in my shoes, I’m sure I’ll get about 200.

Like the book says: “Congratulations, today is your day. You’re off to great places, you’re off and away. You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the guy who will decide where to go.”

If the past four years have taught me anything, it’s that the good doctor knew exactly what he was talking about. I’ve seen more than my fair share of incredible things, made more than my share of mistakes, and most importantly, I had fun along the way.

However, there are a few things I hope I’ll never have to do again. While I’m sure they built character, I’d rather not take that road again. They shall henceforth be known as “The College Follies.”

1) When I first moved out of the dorms, I had no furniture. Being as headstrong and proud as I am, I refused to take money from my parents to buy any.

Instead, I waited next to the dumpsters on Spiros and Hillcrest for graduating seniors to throw out their old furniture. I got a futon, suede hide-a-bed couch, recliner and the end table I’m currently writing this column on. Bed bugs not withstanding, I’d say it worked out pretty well.

2) My second year at NIU, I joined the rugby team. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. They were a great group of guys and the sport is a blast.

Three days after joining, we went to a two-day tournament in Nebraska but couldn’t afford a hotel room. So we paid the local bar owner $4 a piece to sleep on the barroom floor after closing.

It was dollar beer night and several hundred ruggers showed up to the tournament, so every bodily fluid imaginable caked the floor under my sleeping bag. The smell washed off; my pride has yet to return.

3) Around the same time I started playing rugby, I took a job as a pizza delivery guy because I couldn’t afford groceries.

I ate pizza and hot wings for two months straight.

I also couldn’t afford cable or Internet, so the majority of my research and paper-writing was done from my car which I parked outside the same pizza place. I was broke and hungry, but at least my homework was done on time.

4) Finally, this past semester I took my first class in Barsema.

Being one of the nicest buildings on campus, any kind of drink or food is strictly prohibited in the classroom. The night before class, I pulled an all-nighter to write a term paper. I was falling asleep on my feet and quite confident I wouldn’t make it through class.

I needed caffeine, fast. So I bought two Mountain Dew’s from the vending machine, went into the bathroom and shot gunned them like they were beer. Key hole and all.

It’s been a blast, and while some of the memories above are downright disgusting and depraved, I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Those are the things I’ll remember long after the lectures and exams have faded, and that’s what it’s all about.