Dumbass Sayings: “The Old College Try”

Sometimes people will say something like “I’m gonna go give it the old college try!” To me that sounds like someone’s gonna go try chugging beer upside down while doing a handstand or stay up all night on Adderall and Red Bull cramming for a midterm, causing irreparable damage to their brain chemistry. Here’s one of those sayings that people use without understanding its origins or even thinking about what it means. Saying you’ll “give it the old college try” (according to a definition from 1927) means giving your best effort because failing won’t be the end of the world. How this saying has persisted to this day without any substantial origin to help people understand what it actually means is crazy. This saying is completely outdated and inapplicable to modern life. The reason is, if you make a horrible decision by trying and failing in college it really can be the end of the world for you. You think you’re giving it the “old college try” when you’re hazing a new member of the marching band and things get out of control before you know it you’re being accused of group trombone sodomy and wind up on a sex offender list. Just because it happened in college doesn’t mean it can just disappear.

Some people think college is a joke for some reason.

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