So you’re about to head off to college this month. Congratulations! There are at least two kinds of people in the world—possibly more, I’m not sure, I’m not a scientist —and odds are you’re going to find yourself living with one or more of them this fall (also probably for the rest of your life, because let’s be honest, this recession is going to last forever and you’re going to have roommates when you’re 49 [no, you'll be fine, no recession has ever lasted forever before, but I guess there's a first time for everything]).
When you are at school, you're going to have a lot of fascinating encounters with people who are going to change your life in ways you cannot yet begin to imagine. You are also going to meet people who write their names on cartons of milk in the community refrigerator. Let us call them “Scrawlers” for the time being.
But there is another type of person! These bold and visionary people—let us refer to them as "Doers"—upon seeing milk, drink it. They do not ask, "From whence did this milk originate?" These are people of action. They possess clarity of purpose. They encounter milk and they say to themselves: “Milk exists to solve the problem of thirst. I am thirsty. I see an answer to the eternal puzzle.” They solve problems.
Your job, gentle reader, is to decide which of those two types of people you’re going to be. You may, upon first glance, find the life of a Scrawler appealing. After all, it’s your milk (if milk can truly be said to belong to anyone, that is). You paid for it with your own money just so you could have something to put on those mini boxes of cereal you steal from the cafeteria. But beware: it’s a short step from writing your name on a half-gallon of milk to leaving accusatory notes on the refrigerator door.
“To whichever of you guys drank my milk this week: I’m not mad, I just wish you’d ask me first” is a vicious lie of the highest order. You are mad. Admit it. If anyone knocked on your door and asked if they could have some of your milk, you would deny them access to said milk without question.
Because in college, as in so much of the rest of life, the question is not whether someone you know casually and share a shower with is going to drink your milk, but when.
Which type of person are you?