My final column in the 2016-2017 school year was a bright and chipper reflection on the beauty and joy and sunshine in my nineteen-year-old life. It had heart to it, and it always makes me smile, so I consider the piece to be one of my best.
Now, as I emerge from the rubble of my college experience, weathered down by the tempestuous winds of reality and adulthood, I still have that joy, but in a new way. It has a new tannin to it — it’s complex and firm, as the result of a process. As we all grow older, somewhere in the TCAT rides and the Bronx-bagels-with-cheese we learn to be happy not because of a naive assumption that bad things won’t happen, but because bad things did happen, and we’re still alive.
I feel no need to produce for you another happy rant of my favorite things in the world. For me, there’s just as much catharsis to listing off what I don’t like. Today, I plan to do just that, but not to depress you but to remind you of what you overcome each day — to remind you how far you’ve come.
And, with all these less-than-ideal aspects of our lives, we should be proud of ourselves for more or less keeping our heads up. There’s a lot to dislike.
For starters, I don’t like life without eHub.
I don’t like the card scanners at CTB that force me to actively decide not to tip the cashier before their very eyes.
Speaking of CTB, I don’t like fake eggs.
And I don’t like pushy a capella concert ticket salesmen.
I don’t like it when people start all their Facebook posts with “I’m so excited to announce.”
I don’t like the red brick streets on Stewart avenue that were probably paved for the last time in 1922.
I don’t like when I accidentally open a Facebook message I’ve been avoiding for a few days because I don’t want the person who sent it to know I’ve read it.
I don’t like getting removed from GroupMes.
I don’t like throwing parties where 1,000 people click going and 3 show up.
I don’t like sponsored LinkedIn messages.
I don’t like entering in the information from my resume for an application that already asked me to attach my resume.
I don’t like talking to students who already have jobs.
I don’t like waiting for Scantron test results that take .000001 seconds to grade.
I don’t like trying to remember which tab in blackboard the syllabus is under.
I don’t like the automated voice that tells you Olin is closed.
I don’t like when I try to log into student center but another website comes up after I click login and I have to refresh the page.
I don’t like hearing “lets get this bread” every time I’m in line at a place that sells bread.
I don’t like people who wear $500 shoes but still Venmo request you for gas.
I don’t like when Venmo is autocorrected to venom.
And I don’t like staying up until 3 a.m. to write column when I have a prelim the next morning.
But regardless of how I feel about all of these things, they form the reality in which we live. Though staying sane in the midst of it all can sometimes feel like an uphill battle, we can rest assured: it actually is. Everything’s an uphill battle when almost your entire campus is on a 45-degree angle.
But we signed up for this, and if it’s the last thing we do we’re gonna make it out. Until then, I’ll focus on what I do like. I just won’t write it all about again.