Paul’s Wall

No More Sweepstakes

Pepsi is having a new sweepstakes, but chances are you haven’t heard about it. At least, I hadn’t heard about it and I usually know all about these sweepstakes.

You see, I happen to be a devout participant in any type of sweepstake: Monopoly at McDonald’s, collecting the proof of purchase from the bottom of cereal boxes and the greatest of them all, collecting soda caps. I am always in it to win it, and I tend to win.

Back in my freshman year, I used to collect as many “Free iTunes” caps as possibly to give to my swim coach to get out of practice. Sophomore year, a few friends and I collected caps by the hundreds, trying to win an Xbox 360, but instead settled for sweatshirts and beanies in the process. Last year, while going for a free Xbox 360 again, I settled for the same hoodie that I am wearing in my column picture in a sweepstakes. (Don’t pity me; I finally got fed up of trying to get the Xbox for free and decided to buy it instead, so everything worked out fine in the end.) There was no stopping me; I was bound to win because I was able to collect enough caps to fill my room.

But that has all changed over the past few years. Slowly the school has been getting rid of soda, and with the soda the priceless caps that I cherish so much. No longer am I able to pick up a few dozen caps walking during the passing periods, and no longer am I able to compete like I used to do. Nowadays, when I go through all the trash cans and dumpster-dive through weeks-old garbage like I am trying to find the Holy Grail, I come up empty-handed and smelly like cafeteria food.

While the school has tried so hard to protect us students from ourselves, they have taken away one of my greatest memories in my four years. At least I had the opportunity to dumpster-dive; freshmen this year, and even the sophomores, have been deprived from the rite of passage. This immaturity dies with me, and this is something that the administration should wake up to in the middle of the night: They destroyed the innocent fun of teenagers.

So I guess the free DVDs and CDs, daily cash giveaway and trips to all corners of the world that Pepsi is putting up for grabs won’t go to any student from this school. It’s a shame because there are good prizes this time around, but I hope some other school takes advantage of the situation we just threw away.