Recession does not equal depression

The real world is crumbling. Enjoy the fleeting moments of college before you kick yourself for missing them.

The recession is everywhere. We all feel it. We hear about it from newspapers, websites, television, radio and solemn dinnertime conversations. Dreary reports grace the front pages of newspapers every day, and there is no way to escape the gloomy storm clouds of doubt suffocating our very existence. But, then again, maybe we college kids donâÄôt have it so bad. College students have always had financial difficulties and social stresses about which to complain. Student loans break our backs and heavy academic workloads stretch our days thin. After all, life requires work, and work requires knowledge. Despite our stresses and worries, students at the University of Minnesota should not wake up wondering why their worlds are falling apart. When the majority of students at this University (or, at least, the ones that live on Como Avenue) arise on Saturday mornings, they do not get up early to make their kids breakfast and do yard work. They drag themselves out of bed at noon to nurse their hangovers with orange juice and college basketball. Not that this is all bad. Enjoy waking up at 7 a.m., hopping on a bus and cursing God for making it so cold outside. Adore skipping three nights of sleep at the end of every semester, scrambling to catch up on reading assignments. Relish the fact that graduates want to return, and the next generation of high school seniors canâÄôt wait to come. Most of all, donâÄôt take academia so seriously that you forget that this is not the real world. I encourage the student populous to get moving, study hard, prosper and assist the country in finding solutions to our festering problems. I just canâÄôt muster up the audacity to blame the fun-loving students of this University for putting aside their discretions and enjoying the precious, irresponsible moments that come with higher education. In order to survive in this country, we have to get a job, get on welfare or get a rich friend that we can use as a nipple. Once we graduate from college, we canâÄôt be passive, sit on our hands and wonder why we donâÄôt have any money. Now, we can. Unemployment is at 7.2 percent , the national debt is over $10.6 trillion, and Wall Street is in shambles. We need to be part of the solution âÄî get ourselves out into the world and make a difference. We need to bring the United States back to prominence and good standing with the international community by fixing this problem. Before we are fully prepared to tackle all of the worldâÄôs problems, however, we need to learn how. Until then, enjoy the seconds we can afford to waste. We are soldiers drifting toward Normandy beach. As the waves bounce us up and down, we can hear and see the action transpiring in front of us. As we prepare to get off and throw ourselves into danger, we need to enjoy the last few drags of the cigarette we lit up. Embrace the last few moments of safety we have. There are plenty of reasons to be worried about the world. Greenhouse gases are cranking up the global thermostat, religious battles produce casualties and the electronic banking system that drives this global economy is falling deeper and deeper into the red. So, when you read about the University cutting their latest ad campaign, the state cutting funding because of the deficit and the country throwing billions of dollars toward Wall Street, take a step back. We donâÄôt know whatâÄôs going to happen after we graduate. The world could erupt into nuclear war for all we know. This is not the real world. We are not unemployed yet. Robert Downs welcomes comments at [email protected]