By Ben Hoffman
These hallowed university halls speak volumes about their occupants. More than the halls, these people occupy important roles in society. Some would have them called “the educated elite,” while others just quietly point out that nearly all the world’s power structures are founded and lead by them. The engineers, perhaps the most pointed example of all, traverse the campus and deface it with their tag “ERTW”–engineers rule the world–and although this is a conceit not to be associated with the average campus-goer, it is in at least some capacity true: students will go on to lead the world.
A quick walk through the same halls would show you so much more than the cliches of how we will take the world within the next generation. A glance left shows two girls panicking about the midterm they have in an hour, while at the right a group of people play cards in an attempt to still their worries about the same test. Ahead, a prof consoles a student who’s upset they’re not understanding the course material. By all reasonable accounts the “elite” destined to take over the world are just people, albeit individuals with large loads on their shoulders.
This education that supposedly lifts us to the higher societal echelons is a self-imposed exile. Consider that there are countless, thankless hours of work involved in getting an education, and few immediate benefits–after all, an efficient, enthusiastic tradesman will probably get paid more than you–save for the beneficial burden of being in charge of things afterward.
Since so many burdens fall squarely on us, it is not so odd that we should celebrate ourselves in a manner such as the upcoming Bermuda Shorts Day. The event often accrues outside criticism from those who see a day of drunk and stoned celebration as running contrary to our proper, educated image; but not all of us asked to have this surreal image that makes us seem so different from “real” people.
The halls are never more frantic than final exam season. Instead of card games and panicky studying, common sights are conversations about nobody appreciating the knowledge required for finals and students on the verge of crying out of fear. These sides of “the educated elite” are too often forgotten, most infuriatingly by unsympathetic profs who seem to have selective memories about their own pasts. It is all too hard to feel any sense of appreciation, especially during final exams. That is why we need Bermuda Shorts Day.
So go, and enjoy your day of intoxicated revelry. Remember while you’re there, too, that if nobody appreciates what you do, you damn well have the right to appreciate it yourself.