Full Credits

Stats & Data

March 17, 2017

A college freshman's epiphany.

Adjusting to college life can be difficult for incoming freshmen. The rigorous coursework as well as the pressures of living independently can lead to the decision to postpone a college education. Martha Smith, a freshman in her second semester at UW-Madison, described her initial thoughts about the college experience, “I was quite overwhelmed with my course load. One day when I was very stressed, I was plodding up Bascom and I came across a group of squirrels. I thought to myself, why can’t my life be as simple as a theirs? I’m no zoologist, but I presume a squirrel’s day likely entails romping about, searching for food, and napping. Does it get any better?”
Ah, squirrels, the plump little fellows that also call UW-Madison home (and everywhere else in the world, for that matter). Whether they are frolicking on Bascom Hill or snoozing on the trees in the Lakeshore neighborhood, these furry critters always appear to enjoy life. When compared to lives of their overworked and sleep deprived neighbors, the lives of squirrels do appear pretty dang good. All things considered, playing in the grass does seem preferable to the stresses of staying on top of school work as well as maintaining relationships and building new ones.
By all appearances, then, the squirrels of UW-Madison live a carefree existence while their human companions are bombarded with the difficulties of college life: how am I going to afford that? do I complete the class reading, or do I watch another episode of The Office? should I be productive or social? will Gordon’s ever serve anything edible? If we were squirrels, we wouldn’t have to worry about any of this nonsense.
Smith’s idyllic perspective was about to change.

“It happened in October,” Smith murmured, looking down with a pained expression. “It was around noon. I was walking on the path between Liz and Carson’s when suddenly, out of nowhere, a red-tailed hawk swept down from the sky and picked off a squirrel that was resting on a tree branch. The hawk then flew away with the defenseless squirrel grasped in its talons.”


“I realized that squirrels’ lives weren’t as simple as I had originally thought. Sure, I may have my own worries such as wondering if that cute boy in my English class will ever notice me, but at least I don’t need to be on the lookout for a MOTHERFUCKING BIRD OF PREY that could swoop down at any moment and devour me while I’m still alive.” Well put!

Smith further continued, “As college students, we need to appreciate the little things. Sure, we may not be able to afford The Hub or we may have fallen way below the curve on an exam, but at least we need not worry about MOTHERFUCKING BIRDS OF PREY.”

At press time, Smith was walking down Lakeshore path, smiling ruefully at the squirrels while muttering, “Integral equations don’t seem so bad anymore. At the very least, they won’t kill me.”