Forget the in-laws and last-minute shopping: we have a new tragedy to ruin your holiday season, a season unforgivingly preceded by perhaps humanity’s darkest hour–finals week. Every year, these treacherous days maim many a major, ripping freshmen and occasionally even sophomores from their interests by brutalizing them with a final assessment. Triple-major freshmen drop like flies, abandoning biochem, PLS, and mechanical engineering for a single, unsatisfying English major.

I recently had the chance to sit down with Halpin Bruke, a specialist on the subject who’s spent the last three years studying trends in ND freshmen once December starts. With slightly frazzled hair and a grin on his face that teetered on the brink of insanity, he quickly filled me in on the alarming nature of this increasing trend. “Records show that in the 80’s, you could have up to five majors and still graduate in four years. Heck, sometimes even three years.” He ran his hands through his hair as I watched with a hint of concern. “These days, these tests just absolutely wreck these undergrads, limiting their interests and making a diversity of classes utterly impossible.” Eyes darting wildly, Bruke continued, “But I don’t understand what the big deal is about school anyway. We are all just gonna end up as automatons devoid of being.” I left Mr. Bruke staring out the window, quietly eating cold mac n’ cheese.

Disregarding the potential inaccuracy of Bruke’s historical facts and his obvious crippling despair, he has a point: freshmen are coming to Notre Dame with vast dreams of exploring everything in their education, only to have these dreams obliterated a week before heading home for the holidays. Some have argued that this serves a purpose, that tough tests keep majors competitive with universities across the country and push our students to be the best.

Still, this callous response cannot help but neglect the hundreds of triple-major freshmen disappearing every year, not to mention the impact of poaching and habitat destruction. With Reckers no longer a 24-hr space, these poor creatures are swiftly running out of places to study, and more classes have been dropped this fall semester than mics by Kanye. Describing the poaching problem, Bruke almost burst into tears describing how many seniors have been hunting these freshmen for their ivory. “They claim to be peer advisors, and recommend that these young-ones take 18 credits, or simply work throughout the night. In no time, they work themselves to death, and a future neuro-rocket-scientist decides to major in Anthropology. Tragic, utterly tragic.”

It is hard to see how these poor freshmen will survive in today’s rapidly changing world, and this endangered species, sadly, seems on the way to an early extinction. Only time will tell whether these freshmen manage to persist in their passions and survive in the wild, or end up evolving into demoralized sophomores shifting to a major in FTT.