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The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

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The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Ethel’s breakfast food truck brings a 1950s diner experience to Pitt
Ethel’s breakfast food truck brings a 1950s diner experience to Pitt
By Nada Abdulaziz, Senior Staff Writer • 1:18 am
SGB hosts last meeting of the school year 
By Emma Hannan, Staff Writer  • April 17, 2024

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Ethel’s breakfast food truck brings a 1950s diner experience to Pitt
Ethel’s breakfast food truck brings a 1950s diner experience to Pitt
By Nada Abdulaziz, Senior Staff Writer • 1:18 am
SGB hosts last meeting of the school year 
By Emma Hannan, Staff Writer  • April 17, 2024

Satire | Scheduling squalor: Working as a full time student

Satire+%7C+Scheduling+squalor%3A+Working+as+a+full+time+student
Thalia Sifnakis | Staff Illustrator

Well. Here we are again, again. The first few weeks of the new semester. All recovered from the holidays. Done accidentally referencing Oscar winning actor Timothée Chalomet multiple times in satires not even months apart when you were never all that into him to begin with. You just thought he was pretty good in Little Women and funny on SNL. And now the woke mob wants to crucify you. Well, not crucify you, but claim you have a more than average amount of interest in Timny, when really you’re just giving him silly little nicknames because you think they’re sort of funny. 

But here we are, nearing the end of the add/drop date for classes, all just months after the initial stress of picking a schedule while all the classes you want to take fill up with people who, unlike you, are not the main character and should just not take those last spots in all your first-pick classes. Obviously. 

But now you have to decide. Which classes are you dropping, and which classes are sounding a lot better now in comparison? Are you really going to go to that class that ends at 10:00 p.m. for some reason, even though it’s cold and dark and freezing and evil outside all of a sudden? Are you actually going to go to that 11:00 a.m., or 8:00 a.m., depending on how much unfounded faith you have in yourself? And it’s a recitation? Come on. It’s probably not happening. You need to sleep. Can you actually, seriously, have classes all day Wednesday, not have time for a lunch or dinner break and march happily along to your class-free Thursday or Friday? We’ll see, I guess. But you’ll finally figure your schedule out. Eventually. And it’ll be amazing. 

And then the other shoe drops. Capitalism with a capital “C.” All those beautiful little breaks you worked into your schedule, to have a healthy sleep schedule, to do homework, to go to the gym, all go out the window when you have to turn in your availability for work. I went from having ages of time Monday night, just to get ahead — or caught up — on the homework for the week, to having absolutely no time to do homework, let alone study. All because of capitalism. For some reason, just for the simple pleasure of living, we’re required to pay rent, buy groceries and get little treats whenever we deserve them, all of which really adds up. Especially when it comes time to pay the credit card bill. Ruh-roh. 

So now here you are, a full-time student studying something you’re passionate about, having to consider dropping classes so that you’re still a full-time student, but with more availability in your schedule so you can work more. All while you piss away thousands just for the chance to take these classes, all to stick with 12 measly credits, just because you can. And all that’s if you only have one job. It all just exponentially expands by how many jobs you have. Figuring out a new schedule for the semester is absolutely disgusting. 

And then you remember the additional facet you forgot. These are your college years! You’re supposed to be having fun! Making lifelong friends and connections. And, barring that, at least networking. When are you supposed to be an active member of the so-called campus community when you can’t even find the time to join fun — or un-fun, if you’re pre-law— clubs on campus? It’s the ultimate rock and hard place. 

I suppose you could work more, so that you can afford to go out with your friends. But then you won’t have the time to go out because you’re working so much. Comb watch chain hair, as they say. Google “The Gift of the Magi” if you didn’t get that one, but I’m sure you did. Every choice I make seems wrong. I work an extra shift, but then I’m too tired to cook, so I waste all the money I just made eating out or on $7 little treat beverages. I beg to pick up an extra shift, because I’m desperate for the money, but then I realize that I suck at scheduling and I have a club thing that I can’t miss, so I have to beg someone to take the shift I just begged for. I wish I were a trust fund baby. 

Friends, hobbies, self and joy. All important aspects of life, maybe more so when you’re a broke college student trying to figure out what kind of person you’re going to be. And joy is the hardest one. True joy can’t be scheduled. It emerges in the off-the-cuff jokes your coworkers tell you to try to make the time pass faster. In the dinner you cook that’s way more gourmet than you’d expect from a novice like yourself, all because you put time and care into it. In the time you spend with your friends, doing absolutely nothing. And not to sound like a Disney movie, but it’s priceless. 

Without joy, life is barely worth it. So, I propose a coup. No more for-profit living. Just creation, conversation and community. Do I mean a community of people, or hanging out with your friends, watching the hit NBC show “Community” 24/7? Who’s to say? We’ll just have to become a socialist country, ruled by kids for kids, to find out. TL;DR: Eat ass, take senators’ names, rebuild the government from the ground up, and make time for joy. Alaina out. 

Alaina McCall writes things. They would rather be a lighthouse keeper than do whatever they’re doing now. You can reach them at [email protected] 

About the Contributor
Alaina McCall, Staff Columnist
Alaina McCall is an English Writing and Film Production double major. When they grow up, they would like to write sitcoms, but will probably settle for writing names on coffee cups. Feel free to slide in with your own jokes to [email protected]