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The period in between school, where you are a school child, and work, where you are an adult, is filled with period in the human life known as the student years.

It's supposed to be filled with the quest for knowledge and the advancement of the human race. Yeah, right. Students have everyone fooled.

Some believe that study is hard work which is intellectually and psychologically taxing, is a great burden on the mind and body and earns the student a well-deserved qualification which will allow him or her to get a better start in life.

Others believe that the whole thing is a scam and that students just indulge in alcoholism and consume narcotics, whilst taking everyone (the government, parents, educational institutions etc.) for a ride. Students themselves have never really thought about it, being too busy working and getting high. This is the beautiful thing about the whole affair: plausible deniability. The real reason students are students is because they have no clear idea of what they are actually doing at all.

During this period1, the student will be forced to live by a strict code of conduct. During this period they will not be allowed to do any of the following: spend money on anything except for alcohol; bathe on a regular basis; use their common sense; engage anyone in a conversation of any real interest; clean; wash up; use a vacuum cleaner; or participate in the advancement of the human species.

They will however be allowed to relish in the following: complaining that they have no money2; cultivating the most foul and oppressive odour3; zit farming; hair rights4; talking very loudly about a subject they think they understand (although they very rarely do); and generally being a drain on all of society.

Although this period in life must end, many of today's social and mental health problems can be traced directly back to the student years.

Please be careful.

What to do if confronted by a student

Recommendations when found in a situation needing to deal with a student include:

  • Hide any cigarettes on your person.
  • Do not under any circumstances ask what course they are on, especially if you are in a hurry.
  • Treat them with little respect - to be able to communicate at their level.
  • If intoxicated walk briskly away as the urge to engage in fisticuffs is often overwhelming.
  • Finally, just remember, the student will eventually metamorphose into such forms as the 'middle manager' and eventually, the much feared 'executive'.

The student is a species that must be treated with respect at all times.

Art Students

Art Students are different from other tertiary students. You can easily be fooled by their appearance, which on the whole is very haphazard and uncoordinated, into thinking that they are very much like any other students. They aren't. There is always something vaguely eccentric - if not disturbing - about them, which always defies explanation. You often walk away after meeting one wondering "Did I just have that conversation?".

Art students create "stuff". They don't create art - that's a rule. Those who have never attended an art class may find this somewhat confusing, but the reasoning is that art students do not go to art school to create art, they go there to learn about it. So anything they create there is, therefore, not art, and since it isn't art, it can be identified as "stuff".

Some art students create stuff that people actually want to buy. People notice them, and this is good, and if the people that notice them are particularly well-endowed with money, this is even better. Rich people pay art students to make large and elaborate sculptures or paintings that don't make sense and only take up space. This is called "art".

The lifestyle of an art student is a seemingly decadent affair. Much romance is built up around it, mostly by hard-working and bored art students who want the rest of the world to think that they've got it good. Such activities known to take place at parties in art student circles are drinking lots of alcohol and getting drunk, bitching about the last lecturer they had before the party that they're getting drunk at, debating the meaning of a painting they all hated but had to look at for an exam, and then finally getting so drunk that they fall asleep.

Sometimes spontaneous artistic creation happens, but most of the time the students are too drunk to know or care.

Film and Media Students

A type of student obsessed with film, television, and journalism, but mostly film. To distance themselves from the 'fan boy' nature of film, media students like to use terms and phrases that appear completely nonsensicallike "non-diagetic", "non-focalised", and "non-temporal".

If confronted by one of these media students, just yell: "Bad Timing is a film without any conventional temporal structure, yet it has conventional temporal signifiers - discuss!"

And then run away - very quickly.

Foreign Exchange Students

A curious rite-of-passage undertaken by teenagers of many nationalities, wherein their parents export them to another country in a desperate attempt to get some well-earned peace and quiet. The pretext for such a trip is usually to pick up some understanding of different cultures or languages, or both.

What in fact happens is that students from the same countries gravitate together, babbling in a manner incomprehensible to host country citizens, hang out around fast-food restaurants, and block constricted thoroughfares, causing anger and dismay as people have to attempt to push their way past.

Foreign exchange student form arterial blockages in modern cities, hence the collective term for them: a clot.

1Which can last for decades in some cases.2Because they spent it all on alcohol.3A cross between mould and oxtail soup.4For the girls pig tails and bunches, for the boys a sad four-haired beard/sideburn combo.

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