Daniel Gingras

What an amazing thing it is to be a college student in the 21st century. We stuff our brains, livers and suitcases to the point of explosion. We indulge in guilty pleasures like “text messaging” and “drunk-dialing.” We speak to each other in keyboard acronyms (ROFLMAOPIMP) and so many different regional slangs. We “hook up.” We “road trip.” We “beer bong.” We are capable of simultaneously fearing and desiring members of the opposite sex. We have “walks of shame.” We go shopping through our computers on an intricate network of information that hangs invisibly in the air, encoded into billions of ones and zeros.

If you time traveled 50 years back and told someone you needed to check your Facebook, you would be shot for being a communist. Or go 300 years back and stroll through the streets with white iPod ear buds coming out of your face and music blaring; you’d find a fiery death awaits you, warlock. In a 300-year trip into the future, we might be sidetracked by a worldwide dispute over the ethics of permitting inter-digital marriage between humans and figments of virtual reality. Anything’s possible, as was finally proven to me beyond doubt in 1990, when the western-themed sequel to a sequel, Back to the Future Part III, was released.

As a generation that juggles a rapidly changing time with our oldest desires and emotions, sometimes we fumble.

And then we panic. Because the complexity of things distracts us, when we need only to be thinking about the simplicity of them to understand ourselves. There are the things that have been around for ages. There are the things that are forever to be thinking about.

The most satisfying and meditative of all human thought is reflection on needs, on wants Do I have enough pleasure? Do I have challenging enough goals? If I stay up until 4 a.m. cramming all night, will I wake up in time for class? If I stay up until 4 a.m. binge drinking all night, will I wake up in time for class?

People have been killing each other and screwing each other since the dawn of time. That’s good. I’m happy that we stuck to some of the decisions we made.

I wouldn’t be surprised, either, if recreational drugging has its history rooted in cavemen seeking euphoria who sat around on Friday and Saturday nights clubbing each other on the cranium. Primarily, what I want to offer you, the readers, are my thoughts surrounding sex, love and alcohol – three corners of a social triangle that underlie every human being, and stems into everything else. It is my hope that these reflections can benefit us all, without hurting anybody’s cranium.

Lastly, if anyone knows a good way to remove the “Breakfast at Mother’s” stamps from my wrists, please e-mail me at dgingras@calpoly.edu. I am tired of going to school every Monday morning looking like an idiot.

Daniel Gingras is a civil engineering senior and Mustang Daily columnist

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