Chris Margolin

I Get to Smoke Weed, Drink Beer, Get Laid, and Sleep through Classes

If your only plan for college is parties, you should reconsider doing something else. Latest column from “Confessions of an Educator” Chris Margolin.


I’ve never been one to preach college to my students. I want them to figure out what they’d truly like to do, make a plan, and go do it. College is simply not for everyone, which is fine; it doesn’t need to be in your master plan. Your parents may hold it against you or tell you that they are incredibly disappointed in your unhealthy choices, but the reality is you are the only one in charge of your future. If you want to throw it down the shitter, that’s on you.

If all you’re going to get out of the college experience is the idea that the party never ends, maybe you should take a seat and figure out a better option. But if the “only thing [you’re] looking forward to college is parties. #fuckeducation,” you should not only check your grammar, but you should rethink the college decision. Just because Van Wilder did it, or the second American Pie made it look easy, makes you think, Hmmmmm, so, in college, I get to smoke weed, drink beer, get laid, and sleep through classes? it’s probably not the right place for you.

I went to Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. I needed a small school and the 740 students proved small enough. To put it in perspective, my high school graduating class had 540 students—only 200 fewer than my entire college enrollment. If you farted in your sleep, everyone on campus smelled it. If there was a party, you knew about it. You could hear it from every corner of the campus. The main party house was directly across from one of the dorms and security was very aware of every loud noise. And they were loud. We may have been a small liberal arts school, but the police were definitely on speed dial.

I was no saint. If you’ve been following these weekly columns, you know that I had my fair share of late evening shenanigans on the Pacific campus. I enjoyed a good Big Gulp full of whiskey and soda like the rest of ’em. I turned up the music. I threw bottles out of my fourth floor dorm window. I screamed random shit down the hallways at night to see how many people I could get to come out of their rooms. I probably did enough to scare my dorm mate for life. But I got up the next morning and got my ass to class, because, while our parties were definitely a good time, we understood that we still had to get up and go do homework, or go to class, or study, or meet with a professor, or do anything that would not benefit from a hangover. College wasn’t about the parties. College was about enjoying yourself while still maintaining the mindset that you are there to work. You are there to better yourself in whichever may be your chosen field.

There is nothing wrong with leaving high school and realizing that you aren’t ready for college. Maybe you truly want to work for a year while you figure out your next move. Or maybe you want to travel. Or maybe you’re way more interested in becoming an auto mechanic or cartoon artist or welder or tap dancer. As long as you have a passion for it and a want to really make it happen, then it should never matter. Just don’t piss it all away because you are “looking forward to college is parties. #fuckeducation”




Chris Margolin

Chris Margolin spent more than a decade in Education as a high school English teacher, and is now an Instructional Coach for the Longview School District. He is the founder of The Poetry Question, an online journal which focuses on reviews of small press poetry publications, and runs a regular series called "The Power of Poetry," where notable poets share their personal stories of how poetry has affected their lives. Margolin resides in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, and daughter. 

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