Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
John Smith ’13 isn’t fully aware of it yet, but checking the “I’m Coming!” box on that acceptance letter he got yesterday means that he has just given up all hope of ever changing the world.
“I got into a lot of places,” says Smith, “my state university was a really good option, some other liberal arts schools, even the Ivy League—but I’m choosing to come to Swarthmore so that I can be around a bunch of passionate people who really care about their global community.”
Smith is looking forward to being confronted with a range of liberal views so that he can “really sharpen” his arguments for legalizing marijuana, reparations for Palestinians, and “market socialism, like they have in Europe… I hear some students are in favor of more moderate measures, so it’ll really be a challenge to argue with people who already agree that labor is downtrodden, but don’t see just how much.”
Smith also harbors ambitions of becoming President someday. “You know, I hear Obama didn’t get into Swarthmore, back in the day—given that this is the best undergraduate education anywhere, I hope that benefitting from it will make me even more awesome. I sure wouldn’t have let the Republicans have so much of their way so far. And I would have made marriage available to everyone already…”
Smith is looking forward to being around people who will inspire him to do good, he says, and is already beginning to express serious doubts about whether people who pursue careers in consulting and business are real Swatties. “It’s odd that anyone graduates from this school and goes on to work on Wall Street, you know?” he told the Gazette. “I’m hoping to do a lot of activism while I’m here, and I just couldn’t go back into something that would suck away my soul like that. I mean, I don’t even think I could work with them—I just want to go into politics. Pure honest-to-goodness politics. Not worrying about money all the time.”
Smith looks forward to a wide range of opportunities in the non-profit and academic sectors after graduation, and is considering being an Economics major, but also considering Sociology or Interpretation Theory. “It’s weird, though, because those majors are housed in Kohlberg… I’m not sure how comfortable I feel about that building. Do you know how that money was made?”
The 321st richest American could not be reached for comment, but the Gazette presumes that he doesn’t know how comfortable he feels about John Smith and cohort either.
We do know that he really likes free-range eggs.