People will offer a myriad of halfhearted condolences when you reveal, two seconds into any conversation, that you have classes on Fridays.
“You can party even harder on Saturday.”
“It’s probably healthier for you in the long run.”
“You’ll actually get some homework done on Friday now.”
The ugly blemish on your otherwise-sparkling schedule, Friday classes are the bane of undergraduate life. It’s all you can think about. That one 50-minute chunk suddenly consumes your life, your plans and your sanity. While your friends are talking about staying up late and sleeping in, you’re trying to figure out how to subtly turn the discussion back to how terrible Friday classes are.
As college students, we have become accustomed to some creature comforts. One of which is a three-day weekend, every week. What was a rare treat back in high school transforms almost instantaneously into a natural, universal right once you step foot on campus. And once that right is taken away, we are incited to a blinding rage against the fact there is one fewer day a week to rage.
But there is a bright light shining over your pit of despair. And it’s not “health benefits” or “an increase in productivity.” Those are lies. You become markedly less healthy and less productive if you have a class on Friday. It’s scientific fact. Someone wrote his senior thesis on it.
The fact that there are no real benefits, no actual perks, no viable defense for Friday classes is actually the best thing about them: You get a free pass to complain. Endlessly. For an entire semester. And maybe retroactively for another half-semester. And no one gets to tell you to shut up. It’s the terminal cancer of Princeton problems.
And you engineers who think this doesn’t apply to you — I see you. Do you know how I see you? Because you guys have been complaining about your five-day schedule since I first met you. Quietly, yes, but also pervasively.
You might be getting defensive at this point. But understand that this isn’t a judgment. During my freshman year, I not only had Friday classes both semesters but also a test every Friday afternoon. Do you know how terrible that was? Can you even imagine how miserable I was studying every Thursday night while my roommates and friends were having fun? It was literally the worst thing that happened to me that year.
Whoo, it felt good to let that out.
Let’s face it. We love complaining. Why is PrincetonFML so popular? Why is the comment section of the ‘Prince’ almost more well-read than the articles? Why is it the only thing that keeps us enrolled in a terrible class is the promise of ripping into the professor come course evaluations? There is a release that comes from venting. It’s a cathartic experience. If we had an endless supply of people to listen to us without rolling their eyes, we would never stop. With most topics, there is a limit to how many times our friends can express their sympathy. But not with Friday class.
Not only do we let people complain about their Friday class, but we’ll join in on the fun. If you’ve ever had Friday class, or any kind of activity on a Friday before dinner, when the topic comes up, you’re seized by an uncontrollable urge to tell your story. While complaining is usually a one-way street, Friday classes allow it to become a bonding activity. It brings people closer. In a weird, convoluted way, it’s making us happier.
So I salute you, Friday class. And I thank you for giving us an inexhaustible subject on which to bitch. Seriously, though, why are you so awful?