SATIRE: Is MySpace still cool?

Non-traditional student tries desperately to recapture lost youth

You graduate high school, attend four years of college, earn a degree, get a job. In that order. Right? That’s not the case for Ferris sixth-year business management senior Ronny Tarshall.

 arshall simply isn’t ready to graduate.

 “I’m still trying to discover myself, know what I mean, fam?” Tarshall said. “I mean… what even is a degree? Proof of somebody’s worth? I’m worth more than a piece of paper.”

 fter graduating high school during the Clinton administration, Tarshall did not consider himself a model college student. Tarshall attended community college for two years, but dropped out before employing at a local gas station. A long stint of dead-end jobs and failed relationships prompted Tarshall to reconsider the university life.

“The gas station totally sucked but it wasn’t nearly as bad as my last job,” Tarshall said. “I worked in a factory imploding geese using concentrated microwaves. I have no idea what we were manufacturing. The geese would come on a truck each morning, we’d hit them with gamma radiation, then we’d ship the carcasses off to North Korea. It was a very traumatic experience for me. And for the geese, as well. At that point, I knew something had to change.”

And so, Tarshall enrolled at Ferris State University in the pre-pharmacy program, before switching to the history program, back to pre-pharm, to social work, back to history, pre-pharm again, golf management and then finally business management.

“I’m thinking about switching majors to psychology,” Tarshall said. “Because Freud and stuff. Also, the chicks there are HOT.”

Curriculum aside, what brings Tarshall back to Big Rapids each semester is not the education but the lifestyle.

“I finally found my calling,” Tarshall said. “I was meant to be a student. Until FAFSA denies me my loans, or my grade slips, I don’t see myself stopping.”

Tarshall hasn’t graduated for lack of credits earned, however. Twice he’s been offered degrees based on completed requirements, and both times he’s turned them down.

“Why should I graduate? I still look young, so I blend in flawlessly,” Tarshall said, wiping the sweat from his wrinkled brow. “I’m just not ready to take that step. Know what I mean, fam? See that girl over there? That’s Kelsey. We’ve got something strong between us, something you can’t find outside of the college experience. It’s lit. Did I say that correctly?”

“I think it’s cute when students’ dads try to flirt with me,” Kelsey Shellhome said candidly. “It’s kind of sad, but kind of flattering, too.

“I’ve considered graduating and entering the workforce,” Tarshall said. “But every time I do, I hear those geese screaming. I smell their feathers burning. I panic and next thing you know, I’ve enrolled in another semester. It is SO not lit. Know what I mean, fam?”

We have no idea what you mean, fam.