The term "super senior" is an understatement for Johnny Lechner.
After 12 years of college, the 29-year-old is primed to graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater this semester –with three majors and three minors under his belt.
"What's not to like about college?" he asked. "The schedule's laid back, you're around all kinds of educated people. And we're all just broke college kids, too. It's not like the real world."
While Lechner boasts about the education he has received — his studies include theater, communication, liberal studies, health, women's studies and education — what really keeps him at UW-Whitewater is the social scene.
"I'm 29, but I'm lucky enough that I look young, feel young and have a young personality," he said. "I can definitely keep up here. In fact, I'm usually the one throwing the party."
The UW-Whitewater campus is the perfect size, Lechner said, and its underlying party atmosphere allows him to do some of his favorite things, which include "going out, cooking out and rocking out."
But within his extended stay at the university, Lechner has accomplished more than just extensive partying.
His proud accomplishments include a string of about seven years without a grade lower than a B, writing a play that was performed at the university, working as a university special-events coordinator, serving as the program coordinator for the Women's Center and founding the organization Men Against Sexual Assault and Violence.
With all he has done, Lechner maintains he would like to stay longer if he could.
"I'm just broke," he said. "I've got no more money. Trust me, if I had the money, I'd stay longer."
But after the Board of Regents passed what Lechner calls the "slacker tax," his bills began mounting even faster.
The tax doubles full-time tuition for UW System students who exceed 165 credits, or amass 30 more credits than their degree requires.
Since Lechner boasts approximately 250 college credits, what many have dubbed "The Johnny Lechner Rule" has been taxing on his wallet.
His name being unofficially tacked onto the System's rule is just a portion of the attention he received from his extended college stay; appearances on "Good Morning America" and "The David Letterman Show" have also boosted his celebrity status.
UW-Whitewater spokesperson Sara Kuhl said while Lechner is just one of many university members to receive national attention, the 12-year student has brought positive attention to the campus.
But Richard Brooks, professor and advisor at UW-Whitewater, was not as happy with Lechner's lengthy stay, as Brooks encouraged his advisee to finish up earlier, but noted he can "understand how [Lechner's] celebrity opportunity has distracted him."
Visits with Brooks, Lechner said, were particularly tough because it was like "having to convince my dad."
But the stay has been worth it, especially considering all the changes Lechner has witnessed as the years have gone by.
And according to Lechner, he has seen many transformations in the college scene since his long-gone freshman days.
"I started college in 1994, and it was before the Internet," he said. "I remember how different things were. Doors were all open, people were all just hanging out … and there was only one computer on the floor. People were just doing more stuff rather than goofing around on the computer. Sometimes now it's like pulling teeth to get people to come out."
But Lechner maintains the ever-changing environment, new faces every year and a never-ending list of things to do makes him love just where he is at.
So what is in the works for the soon-to-be graduate?
"That's a good question," he laughed.
While he has already been offered a job by National Lampoon, Lechner is considering other possibilities, like pursuing his music career, writing a book about his experiences and finishing a screenplay project.
"But who knows? I may end up working at McDonald's next week," he joked.
What Lechner does know is that he really wants nothing more than to stay at UW-Whitewater.
With a donation link on his website titled to his name, Lechner hopes to receive enough money to continue on for another year, but admits his college career is likely to wrap up in the next couple weeks.
"Unless some sort of miracle happens, yes, I am graduating this year," he said.
Graduation or not, one thing Lechner knows is set in stone: the party.