What is the eternal student? Well quite literally it is one who studies forever. You might say that everyone is in fact an eternal student. But I am referring to that type of person who is a permanent resident in a university. The perks of staying in college are numerous-- namely you don't have to pay for your life. Some of the lucky are able to con parents into paying for their stay at institutes of higher education, but one can occasionally trick the government and other scholarship organizations into paying. There are several types of eternal students ranging from the truly dedicated to the wild partier.
Most often when one refers to an eternal student the automatic assumption is that of the Truly Dedicated Eternal Student. This is often a student who has chosen random and rather bizarre course work. You most often find these students among Classical Studies or History students. The reason is simple. No one cares about those majors except the people in them. Who really needs to major in Sanskrit anymore? It's a five thousand year old dead language. So students of these types of majors can always find something old to study and claim the need to study that fully before they move into "the real world".
These students can always find something else to study because the stuff has been around so darn long. Since no one cares about these studies anymore these students are free to hide is the sunlight-deprived coroners of dusty libraries and remain free from responsibility. The major difficulty in being a truly Dedicated Eternal Student is to lie convincingly enough so that the parents, friends, the university, and financial supporters all believe that the student needs to remain ensconced in their studies.
The Multiple Degrees Eternal Student is a nefarious schemer. This student is the only eternal student to ever actually earn a degree. And not only do they earn one degree, but they earn several. The primary goal of this type of student is to have more letters after their name than in their name. They will earn a BA and a BS and an MA, MS, MPH, JD, MBA, MD, PhD, DrPH, and on and on and on. In some ways this Eternal Student is the most talented and most conniving of all Eternal Students.
Not only must they posses the intelligence and talent for earning these many degrees but they must convince others that they actually need these degrees. The danger, however, in being a Multiple Degrees eternal student is that, unlike other eternal students, these individuals have actually completed acceptable levels of education. At some point their financial support will revolt due to the immense financial burden these multiple degrees impose and the student is generally told to go ahead and utilize their degrees. The best counterattack to this type of difficulty is to be educated out of any possible job and so, after a brief interval, return to higher education.
Another study bound eternal student is the Cutting Edge Eternal Student. These students study material on the cutting edge of technology. Often the world assumes these are the students who are first to venture from the confines of college life. In this the world is sorely mistaken. Most major advances in technology are made by doddering old men and women who made the mistake of leaving college and have been trying to keep up ever since. True there are your Walt Disney