John Corrigan: Foreshadowing attrition

Taking advantage of someone’s college years is difficult to do when life has practical responsibilities. As I listen to my roommate hype up the weekend’s upcoming frat parties, I wonder whether I’ll pack an apple

Taking advantage of someone’s college years is difficult to do when life has practical responsibilities.

As I listen to my roommate hype up the weekend’s upcoming frat parties, I wonder whether I’ll pack an apple or grapes for the overnight shift at work.

Dousing himself in Axe body spray, he anxiously reminds me his girl will be sleeping over since I will not return until 7 a.m.
John Corrigan

While he anticipates a fun night of rowdiness and romance, I prepare to touch lips with the phone at my job with KYW Newsradio as a desk assistant for the night.

As I close the book on freshman year and look toward the summer break, anxiety over missing out on the college lifestyle drowns my conscience.

Although I take great pride in contributing to society by working, college is supposed to be the best four years of your life. It’s your last chance to be a kid, so you should make the most out of it.

Movies like “Animal House” and TV shows like “Glory Daze” showcase food fights, steamy sexcapades and beer bashes as the college curriculum.

But if you read The Temple News each week, you are pounded with the pressures of budget cuts, rising gas prices and increased tuition.

In addition to financial concerns, students are plagued with the daily struggles of athletics, dieting, grades, relationships, finding jobs and family issues.

How does anyone have energy left to play Quizzo at the Draught Horse or rock out to “Don’t Stop Believin’” at Maxi’s karaoke?

Temple is promoted as the tongue-in-cheek “diversity university.” You should take the opportunity to mingle with people of different races, religions and cultures you might not otherwise.

After surrounding myself with Catholics for 18 years growing up in Northeast Philadelphia, I have been introduced to the Jewish culture thanks to my new friends and roommate.

Because Johnson and Hardwick residence halls prohibit lit candles, I compensated for the lack of a menorah by giving my roommate his first Christmas with decorations, cookies and eggnog. Returning the favor, he offered me some matzo during Passover.

As the U.S. grows increasingly divided with each passing day, Temple should assume recognition as the “great melting pot.”

In that way, Temple provides the opportunity to reinvent yourself.

You should join interesting organizations, pump iron at the gym, chill at Beury Beach and tailgate before football games.

Audition for TempleSmash, try out for your own radio show or even write for The Temple News.

Risk your masculinity and attend a yoga class.

Why not? You’re paying a fortune to attend Temple, so take advantage of your money and dabble in everything.

If Main Campus doesn’t satisfy your hunger for freedom, explore the city.

When those commercials with John Legend and Billy Crystal tell you to love the arts in Philadelphia, heed their advice.

The Please Touch Museum, Walnut Street Theatre, Morimotos restaurant and Citizen’s Bank Park provide a cornucopia of history, cuisine and entertainment.

Make sure you wear dark pants to the nation’s top haunted house at Eastern State Penitentiary.

Although I am grateful for having employment during the recession, sometimes I wonder whether my college years are passing me by.

Despite the sacrifices, will I be at the same position as my friends in four years?

Somehow, there needs to be a balance between academics and partying.

The key to a memorable college experience is to maintain that balance. Don’t regret your college years.

Take advantage of presentations, seminars and special appearances such as this year’s free John Oates concert or the meet-and-greet with Tony Danza.

Working hard pays off, but you will be working for the rest of your life, so don’t overdo it.

At least I’m going to try not to. Focus on your career, but embrace the present.

Hopefully in 2014, when I have hundreds of overnight shifts under my belt, my mind won’t hearken back to the “Glory Daze” theme of, “What have I done?”

John Corrigan can be reached at


  1. since when is temple a fortune? your tuition pales in comparison to that of nearby schools within philadelphia such as drexel’s or university of pennsylvania’s. get the facts down.

  2. Well Fred, that may be the case in pure tuition, there are inexorable costs that are associated closely with attending and actively participating within the college experience. I follow his idea and agree that we are pitted against a lofty amount of stress fiscally. By virtue of that a portion of the students who may not have the same amount of benefactors to draw upon. Recognition towards that with rise in tuition will probably cut the strings on some of this student bodies most incentivized individuals, the working and striven. I’m with ya John

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