Ledge Lessons

We love you, stressed-out college kids! So relax, and remember how good you have it.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  April 28, 2010


As advocates of higher education and living as long as medically possible, we were sad to read that, according to new-media-powerhouse Web site the Daily Beast, Greater Boston is home to not one but five of the most stressful colleges in the United States. Triggered by six suicides at Cornell so far this year, the site crunched data to reveal where problems may lie, and deemed that Brandeis (no. 31), Boston College (no. 25), Tufts (no. 21), Harvard (no. 5), and MIT (no. 3) posed the biggest mental-health concerns in our back yard. Good samaritans that we are, and considering how many bridges there are around here, we’ve written scripts for anyone who may have to talk students off the ledge at Greater Boston’s most demanding institutions. (Best if used in combination with heavy anti-depressants.)

For Crimsons (Harvard)
You probably already know this, but you’re going to be rich one day. Even if you’re a scholarship kid whose peer persecution has been detailed in a heart-wrenching Boston Globe story, unless you decide to do something meaningful and pursue philanthropic avenues, there is an unfulfilling yet highly profitable career in finance or venture capital awaiting you. Even now you have all sorts of reasons to keep keeping on — why slit your wrists when the likes of Colin Powell and MC Hammer regularly swing by to see you? And don’t you find comfort in knowing that, even if you’re tragically unfunny, you can get a gig at the Lampoon and go on to change the course of modern comedy? Rumor has it that Mr. Bartley’s wants to name a burger after you, too.

For Eagles (BC)
First of all, if you kill yourself now, you have no chance of becoming a Triple Eagle. So right there I’m not sure why you’re sitting on the tracks at Brigham Circle. I think you need to breathe deeply, consult Jesus Christ, and find the strength in him to remember how lucky you are to not have matriculated to BU. I mean, really — they have a lot of hot chicks, but could you imagine living in a dorm with Vinnys who use hair gel? It’s bad enough that all the guys from the football team are always getting cocoa butter on the door handles. Anyway . . . the sky is the limit for you, or at least it will be when you can finally hang your BC High diploma next to your red-and-gold law degree.

For Beavers (MIT)
Much like your Harvard friends down the avenue, you’re going to have wealth beyond your most materialistic dreams. But here’s the best part: unlike them, you’ll actually deserve it, and will have no reason to feel insecure about your bourgeois excess. I can understand why you feel the way you do: the pressure of having to invent the next Velcro is greater than technological pedestrians could ever understand. But you really have to think about how many pranks have yet to be pulled. I wasn’t supposed to tell anybody this, but considering the situation, I guess I will. Along with some guys from the physics department, as an act of rebellion I have reversed the gravitational field all across campus. So even if you jump off this Great Dome, chances are you won’t break a leg.

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