‘A change is gonna come’ and it has. Luckily they’ve mostly been changes in me—my perspective, my opinions, my outlook on life. I’ve made a decision this semester, and hopefully for the rest of my life, not to allow myself to be stressed. I mean there will definitely be moments of feeling overwhelmed and realizing that the workload I have may not totally be feasible, but then there’s an option: (1) you can succumb to that feeling of being overwhelmed and go through all the typical crap of not sleeping, not eating well, getting sick super quick, feeling awful, etc. OR (2) you can acknowledge that you have mad stuff to do, stay calm (this is important), and make a plan to get it done. The more I’ve worried and panicked about all the work I have to do, the less of it that’s gotten done, and the less well it’s been done. So I’ve tried that over and over, and it never really worked, so I guess all I can do is try this out and see what happens. So far so good, though. Work has been hard to pump out, especially after a semester of not doing real work in Brazil, but it’s getting done, and I think it’s actually better quality. Having clarity is a real gift in college; being able to see what’s important and what’s not and filter those things accordingly makes a big difference. This new found clarity of mind is letting me enjoy myself, my time here, my work, and I’m not clouded by this persistent thought that something isn’t getting done.
On a different note, I realize there are many people and things that just aren’t necessary in my life anymore. There are plenty of people that I’m around who are just full of a whole bunch of bullshit. (I say this very calmly) So much so that it’s just kind of ridiculous. Everyday I’m seeing people taking themselves way too seriously, taking Oberlin way too seriously, taking these professors way to seriously—and everyday I’m realizing more and more how much bullshit runs rampant here. Things that are upheld as genius are really just a bunch of people fumbling around with an air of confidence that accidentally was able to fool enough people. And honestly, that’s just the nature of life since we all are human beings. But the concentration of bullshit at oberlin is interesting.
It used to annoy me so much to see people bending over backwards for these professors because they supposedly have something to offer: some genius, some deep connection to the outside world, something worth being abused, overworked, and treated with no regard for your time as a college student. I definitely understand the value of networking, of making those connections. But now it just makes me laugh to hear people’s insecurities come out in their justifications of why they allow themselves to be run around (“Yeah, but I’ll have highest honors and a career…”/”Yeah, but he didn’t write you a recommendation letter…) What the hell does highest honors really mean now, especially coming from here. I won’t be graduating with any honors, but merit and talent speak from themselves. ALSO, if these professors are so great, they should be doing their jobs of writing recommendation letters for their advisees and students and not flaking out because they’re to busy on their high horse RE-doing plays from 3 years ago with another title, or just being air-headed in general.
I tried being a departmental whore for a minute, and where did that get me except surrounded by a bunch of self-aggrandizing people and trifling professors who still act like they’re in high school? I stopped being that person real quick; I have more self-respect than that, but some students never learn. I think Oberlin professors and the college have perfected the art of pimping so well that students don’t realize that there are other ways, other options, that this is NOT normal. But guess what, at the end of the day you may make yourself feel better by “rubbing it in my face” that I didn’t get said letters, but I didn’t need that bullshit to get into grad school. I got into both of the schools I’ve heard back from. I got letters from people whose connection I made OUTSIDE of Oberlin, and I didn’t have to kiss ass and jump at every beck and call to make or keep those connections.
I won’t graduate with highest honors or even honors, but I will graduate with as a published author in a scientific journal—so y’all can run yourself ragged for an honor that will never show up on your diploma ‘cause I got a journal!