The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

79° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Welcome to paradise

    Welcome, freshmen!

    Welcome to the best – and most stereotypical – four-to-10 years of your life. Welcome to eating a Top Ramen dinner – any of six flavors – before heading to a kegger, where mom and dad are no longer there to hold your hand. Oh, but you’re sure to find someone there who will, and then some. Welcome to screaming your lungs out at the biggest athletic event of the year – maybe Arizona vs. Kansas this season – gargling some whiskey to try to get your voice back so that you can yell about what a poor college student you are.

    Welcome to paradise.

    College is what you make of it. If you choose to be the stereotypical college student, then so be it. Schedule all your classes in the afternoon so you can sleep for half the day. Spend all your money on booze and strippers and books so that you can only afford noodle dinners. Be the college student.

    Or not.

    That’s the beauty of life at the “”U.”” You have choices. Tons of them, too. You can take Arizona’s motto and “”bear down,”” study hard and graduate in four years or less. Or you can follow the rules of the stereotypical student and slack off, waste your ever-rising tuition and stay for as long as you’d like.

    College students deemed “”successful”” find a happy medium and understand that 1) their main purpose here is to get a diploma and 2) this is their last chance in life to essentially be a kid again before they must head off to, you know, the real world.

    And getting to the real world can be huge. With the right balance, you can become a very successful person in your chosen field of work. You may even become a rich, famous, American icon like diva Nicole Richie, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim owner Arte Moreno, model Brooke Burke, Walgreens CEO Jeff Rein and many, many more who went to the UA.

    Here in paradise you can choose your classes, your major, your mode of transportation and when you’re in either of the two student unions on campus, you can choose whether you want fries with that. You can even choose whether or not to attend class.

    But as we know, beggars can’t be choosers. And if you’re begging for a great education, you better choose wisely. Not to say that if you choose, you lose, but if you choose to snooze over attending class, your choosing and snoozing may bite your ass.

    You can embrace this opportunity in life to meet new people, try new foods, join a club that you didn’t even know existed before you got on campus and become addicted to Facebook, all while eventually working toward your goal of graduation.

    Or you can shun everyone, love your Top Ramen, never leave the club and become addicted to illegal substances that are most likely plentiful around campus, all while falling farther behind on your unrealistic goal of graduation.

    You know by now that a degree is just a sliver of paper. But its significance plays a large role in a play called Life. Your role in the play is based on that sliver of paper. How you’re listed in the play’s cast is up to you. Starting now.

    Welcome to paradise.

    – Lance Madden is a journalism junior. He can be reached at

    More to Discover
    Activate Search