“I never thought I’d be someone who DIDN’t cut half my hair off and dye it red,” says Elle, a grad student finishing school in May. She has recently realized what many students do – there’s a small window in which to experiment with extreme hairstyles, after which being taken seriously by the squarer members of society becomes a priority.

“I’m weighing the cost-benefit of my boyfriend vs. trying a buzz cut,” says one undergrad senior. “Also, you know, employers. They’re going to need to like me in a couple months, too.”

Elle says that, for her, the window began in eighth grade – “when my heroes were Nine Inch Nails and –“ she shudders, “Korn, but my parents didn’t allow me to try anything ‘weird.’” When she moved out to college, she forgot about the dream until it was too late.

“I was always sort of intending to… but I guess that option died the day I realized I wasn’t going to be on The Real World, marry anyone from Blink 182 and my childhood Hot Topic went out of business.”

“I guess now there’s always Halloween. Or I could abandon my MBA to become a full-time goth club go go dancer,” she shrugs sadly. “But that’s another couple years of school, you know?”