The last time there was this much snow on campus, Kappa Sigma got caught by the police. After two well-deserved breaks following the well-deserved break, the catch-up work has begun to weigh down on us. I hope you have the beauty of the white blanket of McDonough Field etched into your mind, because though snow is beautiful and soft, all that is left when it melts away is residual salt.
I am a senior, so this semester is the beginning of the end of my time at Emory. I arrived thinking I would be the best of the best. On walks to my biology classes, I envisioned myself nailing midterms, being offered a position in a research lab and impressing my lab director so much that they’d give me a spot in one of their Ph.D. programs. Practically speaking, I knew my daydreaming was childish, but that didn’t stop me from clinging to it and comparing myself to an idealized version of myself.
Now, here I am: average GPA, uninteresting major, normal friend group, no post-graduate plans. It’s slowly crept up on me like a silent spectre, and now I think I will live a life that is merely average.
How do I accept my own mediocrity as I continue to seek out work? How can I motivate myself to go on when I know I probably won’t even make a tiny impact on the world?
People strive to be good relative to everyone else. That is the basis of competition which is the foundation for the capitalist model. Since I am not an irritating political science major I won’t sink my teeth into that, but what I am trying to say is that you are conditioned to believe that being average correlates to being useless, which is just plain wrong.
First, attending a school like Emory University has given you a unique opportunity to learn about the world, be it the arts or the sciences. You probably won’t cure cancer — you may not even be able to treat cancer. But at the end of the day, the goodness in your life need not be defined by your accomplishments. Do good work, meet good people and eat good food. Enjoy the sun rising in the morning, feel the cool breeze in the afternoon and enjoy the softness of a comfortable bed in the evening. Most of us are lucky to be able to experience these basic pleasures and, at the end of the day, it’s the little things that add up to bring us satisfaction in life, rather than the name of our medical school or the number of awards to our name.
Strive for greatness because that gives you purpose, but realize that the best things in life are smaller than you think.
Someone I am close to has left me. We were supposed to be together forever. He was supposed to always keep me close, keep me safe. But I guess I was a fool, because now I am alone and immobilized in this darkness, with no idea where I am. I fear that with me out of the picture, he might find someone else to replace me. I feel so dejected — he has locked my heart and thrown away the key.
How do I get over this pain?
The Clairmont Master Key
Dear Clairmont Master Key,
I would ask how you wrote this letter to me, but I am an anthropomorphic skeleton, so it’s not like I am in a position to ask.
Getting over a breakup can be difficult, but you were in a dysfunctional relationship: Your partner was only using you for your skills in entering various holes. You need to find somebody who is willing to appreciate the real Clairmont Master Key, somebody who is willing to appreciate you as a sentient being.
P.S. What are you doing this Friday night?