Given Chicago's reputation, every prospie inevitably feels the need to ask the question: "So, what's the workload like here?"
And we, seasoned veterans from our first fall quarter on, are loath to lie to them. They wouldn't believe us if we did. There is no hiding the disheveled look of the U of C student in the throes of midterms, testifying to the academic rigor of the University. Then, there is that T-shirt.
What do students wish to express by wearing a T-shirt lamenting a lack of fun, low grades, and little sex at their university? The answer is clear, if considerably ironic: pride. At a university known for celebrating its uniqueness, it is not surprising that U of C students choose not to express their school pride through the usual channels of attending sports events, formal dances, and other university-sponsored activities. Instead, students seek an innovative, ironic route to express such pride: ridiculing Chicago stereotypes.
For all its negativity, the "Where fun comes to die" T-shirt is an unabashed celebration of the rigor of the Core. "If it were easy, it would be your mom" is in the same spirit. Nerds who wear shirts like "Where the squirrels are more aggressive than the guys" or "cuter than the girls" show a sexy self-consciousness about their intellectualism, in contrast with the ostensible message. Gag over the shirts, or laugh at them, but if you look hard enough you will realize it's just pride by another name.