The class of 2012 and all its friends can breath a collective sigh of relief about at least one thing as May 11th approaches, thanks to some timely research conducted by the University of Southern California.

According to chief researchers, 98% of the student body was under the impression that Commencement,  or “graduation”  in dirty slang terms, was a death sentence, while the remaining 2% were actually ousted as robots programmed to not recognize fear.

Fortunately for everyone, researchers were able to successfully debunk this widely accepted belief by taking five minutes to call up anyone that has ever graduated college before. What they learned was jarring, to say the least.

“All this time, I didn’t realize everyone’s facebook statuses about ‘only one week left’ were purely about school,” explains Maureen Ragu, a freshman. “I thought my friends had one week TO LIVE.”

It’s pretty clear that Maureen was not the only one. Seniors themselves have been preparing for “the end” for months, coming to terms with the lives they’ve lived on campus, tying up loose ends, staging emotional farewells with friends, and considering the legacy they want to leave behind at USC, “because we could’ve sworn we were all going to die.”

It turns out that in fact, even after diplomas have been received, graduates go on living, because apparently graduating college isn’t a lethal act after all.

“Definitely a pleasant surprise,” agrees Gordon Ring with a smile. “All of my relatives kept telling me ‘you’re so young, your whole life is still ahead of you!’ and I always wondered why they wanted to remind me of what a sad shame that was, given the circumstances.”

Dr. Leanna Forder, one of the head researchers on the project, explains that Commencement is less of the culmination to a terminal disease and more a period of change. Forder likens this transitional phase to “that of puberty: it’s an exciting time for change that is both frightening and gross at times.”

This is all excellent news because for awhile, the Commencement diagnosis had hit our own USC CB family, namely myself and fellow Head Writer Leah Folta, and the future was uncertain until the recent breakthrough.

In spite of the reality that the class of 2012 is moving on to something different, you can rest assured that we’re alive and well and living it up.

Now that we know we’re not dying, that is.