“Dude . . . happiness . . . is the enemy. Because once you have it . . . you’ve got something to lose.”
— Philosophical Sake Bomber at Miyake
No matter what influence — or lack thereof — a Cornellian is under, I think we can all relate to these philosophical words. Whether it’s getting an A on that Genetics prelim or finally catching the eye of that cute girl in Psych, these small or large moments can make or break a day.
Nicholas Sparks, arguably the most philosophical mind of our time, wrote “Without suffering, there’d be no compassion.” These wise, wise words from A Walk to Remember remind us that kindness and happiness are only a construction. They cannot exist without suffering or pain. But what does that mean for students? We toil away in the libraries trying to attain that elusive A, but is that happiness? Is it worth the struggle?
Think about that moment when the Dunbars bouncer finally recognized your face and stopped carding you, or that afternoon when the quesadilla guy finally remembered your order. Would these moments mean so much if we didn’t have to wait for them? Yes, they are silly examples of satisfaction, but in the pressure cooker that is Cornell, it’s the little things that keep us sane.
But let’s step back and consider more fulfilling times of triumph. How untouchable did you feel when your professor used your work as an example of excellence? How loudly did you want to shout through the streets when the indescribably beautiful girl blushed as she agreed to dinner with you at the Little House of Thai? These are the moments when we just want to dance, no beat required.
But is the ecstasy worth the jerk back into reality?
Waking up to a forgotten quiz, or tripping up, well, just about any staircase, invariably follows these moments of bliss. Personally, I am a believer in appreciating the little things. Happiness is invaluable, especially when that 9:05 is calling. Being able to shake off those little moments is the only way to sustain. This sake bomb champ probably thinks I’m a moron, but happiness necessitates suffering. Losing it is par for the course; you simply must redefine what makes you happy. A lot of college students supplement with alcohol; I say just find the humor in things . . . and maybe stay inside when Ithaca can’t decide between sleet and snow.