Wash U is back in the swing of things, and hordes of students are trying to
remember how to juggle five classes after a month of home-cooked meals and
masturbating three times per day (not me, just”¦some people”¦) And as we all
know, every winter break, your average student loses about two friends. It’s
just life. You go home and see two fewer people than the last time, and so it
goes until you become my parents, whose only friends are our dog and the
Chinese delivery guy. I’m willing to bet that one of those friends who got lost
in the “holiday shuffle” (and yes, I’m speaking metaphorically””LMFAO has yet to
record an Xmas jam) was your high school’s burnout.

You knew the guy””he wore Misfits
t-shirts, army boots, and rolled his own cigarettes. Or maybe your high
school’s burnout was a girl, in fingerless gloves, a choker, and a permanent
scowl that somehow wordlessly expressed I
hate my dad
and Have you seen my
black lipgloss?
at the same time. But your high school’s burnout wasn’t all
bad””s/he lent you that copy of Blade:
and never asked for it back (though that movie did as much for you
as it did for Wesley Snipes), and s/he always
had drugs. So what about your local burnouts? Where are they now?

getting educated too. No, they didn’t go to college””they barely came to Algebra
2, and when they did, their eyes were bloodshot. But they’re studying the same
subjects you are. Your high school burnout is learning about political science
too! They’re not using textbooks per se, but listening to Sabbath’s War Pigs on repeat in your parents’
basement counts! And they’re learning all about economics””I’m pretty sure I saw
my local burnout brandishing a copy of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations (and proceed to open it to access a flask
he’d hidden in the hollowed-out pages. But come on, work with me.) The
important thing is that they’re learning.

So be kind to your burnout. And not
just because, like a Jewish mother, they dole on the guilt when they look you in
the eyes and ask, where have you been?
You never call!
Be kind because you’re better off at Wash U. Be kind
because you never know when you’ll see them again. And be kind because one day,
you’ll be back in your hometown, wandering the streets alone, wishing you had
some drugs.