Posts Tagged ‘college’

via Thought Catalog

There seems to come a time in every young adult’s life when friends start to drop like flies. You go from having a plethora of best friends, good friends, and acquaintances to only having a core group of people in your life. This is all very well and good (cutting the fat can be necessary and whoever’s still meant to be in your life will continue to be there, right?), but it’s still a dreadful traumatizing experience that no one seems to ever talk about. Everywhere you turn, there are movies being produced and books being written about breaking up with your boyfriend/girlfriend. Oh, the horrors! You lie in bed, eat ice cream, talk shit with your girlfriends, and start sleeping with someone else. This Hollywood version of “grieving” can even be done entirely in a montage set to a KT Turnstall song. A dumped person is seen as a totally tragic sympathetic figure and is given the appropriate support to help “make it through.”

When friendships end, when the ten-year bonds you have with someone who feels like family start to dissolve, we’re left with no instruction manuals. We don’t have a movie to turn to or a book to read. Pop culture has pushed it under the rug. You can vent to your other friends who will undoubtedly take your side, you can feel really bad for awhile and maybe even cry at work. People will understand because, oh my god, “breaking up” with a best friend can sometimes feel worse than breaking up with a significant other!

Yeah, it can. So why is it never really discussed? In theory, close friendships are supposed to be everlasting. They’re built to survive your lovers (and maybe even your husband or wife) and glide with you to the finish line. Best friends are not meant to have a lot of baggage because they’re a respite from all of the other bullshit you have going on in your life. They’re the anti-baggage.

When a relationship ends, it sort of makes sense. People fall out of love with another, situations change, and there’s nothing you can really do about it. Your lovers come in to your life at a certain time and you give what the other one needs. Sometimes they’ll want what you’re giving them forever and sometimes they won’t. Even though breakups are terrible and earth shattering, they almost feel a little less personal than the end of a close friendship. I mean, there are countless movies, TV shows and books about this, remember? They’re a fact of life. It’s not you, I swear, it’s just how the cookie crumbles sometimes.

But the end of a friendship is all about you. It’s nothing but you. It’s almost like a personal attack on your character. Someone who once thought of you as a beautiful soul now sees some ugly in you. They wanted to talk to you everyday and now they’re willfully distancing themselves. Meanwhile, you’re left thinking, “What did I do wrong? Where’s my partner in crime? Why don’t you want to be a part of my life anymore? I planned on you having e a major role and now you’re reducing yourself to a cameo.” There are no easy answers and certainly none can be found in a Jennifer Aniston movie. By the way, when Jen Aniston doesn’t want to address your life issues in a blockbuster movie, that’s when you know you’re dealing with some heavy stuff.

Instead, the friendship just dies. Here today, gone tomorrow. It’s scary how easy it can happen, how simple it is to disconnect yourself from someone’s life. You just remove the plug. Bye bye.

When I think of all the people who once meant everything to me and now mean nothing, I get a little sick to my stomach. I wonder how it could’ve happened and why things couldn’t have stayed the same. And then I remember that just like the dissolution of a relationship, friendships are casualties of time. I mean, time is the silent killer of everything. It chips away at things that were once thriving. Tick tock, chip chip. And it will continue to do so. You just have to understand that time will preserve the special relationships. It won’t kill anyone off who’s not meant to be killed off. It’s hard to come to terms with that realization though when you’re in the thick of all the relationship death and all you would like to do is call up your old best friend again and tell them about your day.

The experience honestly is devastating especially because the bond that you share is free of sexually charged / powerful temptation that can often cloud one’s judgement – it’s a connection in its most honest and pure form. And that is why I think it is (or can be) more devastating than the end of a romantic relationship. In reality, every single person you date is highly likely to be your next ex but you never assume that there is an expiration on (most) friendships. I could wax poetic so more, but I think I’ve learned more so that new connections are harder to form and that you need to work even hard to not let them fall to the side.

At all costs, try to minimize the number of friends that you (have control) of losing.

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via SP

Dear Mather 2010,

Commencement is afoot here at fair Harvard, and the Cambridge spring morning is as crisp and lovely as it’s ever been. From my perch here in our glorious tower, I can see so much beauty: rowers on the Charles, the sun’s glimmer on the water, the gentle breeze rattling the trees. It’s all so lovely.

But all I can think of at this moment is how full my heart was exactly one year ago at this time as we walked the path from 10 Cowperthwaite one last time together. It was the moment that every Housing Day march had been a rehearsal for, one last time for us to come together as a house and celebrate the great memories we shared and the greater promise we held.

A year has passed since then, and doubtless we’ve all left for new lives in new places. We’re teaching in tough schools, or we’re toiling in the boardroom, or we’re stretching ourselves in graduate school, or we’re risking everything on a start-up, or we’re doing any of the other million billion things a person can do after leaving this place. We’ve moved on to bigger and better things. As well we should.

But for one brief moment, let me call you back from the bright future (or, more likely, ceaseless gruntwork) that awaits you for a reminder: Wherever you came from before and wherever you are now and wherever you’ll go in the future, you spent some of your best years in the finest house of the finest university in the galaxy. And that is something to be thankful for.

Let me pass on one more reminder, as well. Mather House will always be here; nuclear-holocaust-proof, brutalist 1970s architecture has assured us of this much. But lest you think that friendships are made of the same stuff as our sweet, gray fortress, beware: Most relationships, even those forged amidst and in and by the impenetrable stuff of this place, need a bit more maintenance than concrete. Most friendships are more porous and slightly less unshakable, though they do smell better on Saturday mornings than the low-rise.

So take a moment one year out from graduation to rekindle a friendship that, over the past year in your new life, you’ve neglected a little bit. (Bonus points if it’s me.) Send an email or make a call or tweet a tweet or linkedin a linkedin. But reach out to the people you care about — especially if those people are in Mather 2010 — so that in two years and five years and ten years and 25 years, your friendships will still look like the House that nurtured them: rugged, soaring monuments to love and the power of community.

Yours in fun, friendship and that most powerful affection of all — Mather Love —

SP

(your 2010 class committee rep)

I find this email to be so perfectly timed, and a nice form of treatment for my post-graduation angst re: making new friends, moving on from college, adjusting to the work world, etc. It’s just so perfect. Also, you can substitute any community in lieu of Mather and this email really should make you emotional.

Congrats, Harvard 2011!

Posted: May 25, 2011 in Everything
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Funny Graduation Ecard: Congratulations on four years of successfully pretending your safety school was your first choice.

via Thought Catalog

  1. You will, without a doubt, hate everything you came to school for, at least once.
  2. Your parents were wrong.
  3. Your parents were right.
  4. Take chances. Always, always, take chances.
  5. All those habits you thought you were going to kick? Nice try.
  6. It is possible to watch a movie every night.
  7. Yes, T.A’s do hit on their students.
  8. Don’t come to university with the expectation that people are any more mature than they were in high school. They aren’t.
  9. Turns out, fulfilling your dreams requires a lot of paperwork and a high GPA.
  10. Never say never.
  11. You will miss people with every fiber of your being and not realize it till you hug them after months of absence and remember why you liked them in the first place.
  12. Being away from everyone you’ve gone to school with since you were 4 helps you sort out those worth coming home for and those worth forgetting. That is, if you didn’t already know.
  13. There will be students from other faculties in your major’s class who will do better than you on everything. It does not mean they are actually better than you. Numbers on a transcript have no relevance to passion. It’s okay.
  14. Nothing will make you make you feel more like a student than when you’re fishing through your wallet for spare change so you can buy a hot dog.
  15. You know nothing. But you also know absolutely everything. (more…)

Senior Fa11?

Posted: December 12, 2010 in Everything
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Or if you’re intelligent, efficient or a good person. Good luck Harvard ’11

Jay-z: Tupac :: Harvard: Stanford?

Posted: September 15, 2010 in Celebrity
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The Huffington Post did a fun little analogy on what rappers they think best represent certain universities and colleges.

It’s funny list because it’s HuffPo and I would venture that their analysis of rappers is heavily biased towards the mainstream or the elusive no longer relevant rappers that white listeners have co-opted. Even more humorous because most rappers never attended college (or dropped out, although Plies is the exception) so to equate Biggie with Oxford is ‘interesting.’

A quick overview of the interesting ones: Kanye (UChicago), Biggie (Oxford), Snoop (Spring Break), Jay-Z (Harvard), Tupac (Stanford) and Eminem (Princeton).

My Child Left Behind

Posted: August 29, 2010 in Ramblings
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I found this article in the NYT about parents who are leaving their children back a year on purpose. I am not surprised by this, as I found out going to college that many parents leave their children behind a year so that they have a competitive advantage in sports.

What I did find interesting was that some parents weren’t just doing this with sports in mind, but attempting to protect the kids’ psyche. They assert that no one wants to be the smallest, the one picked on. Yet, according to the ways of the world, someone will always be the smallest.

And normally this is the parents business though I’m firmly against this practice for any reason short of more time necessary for the kid to develop. But the thing with this is that many of the students being held back perform worse when they do start off in their grade. So to be the smallest or to fail from being developmentally and academically behind?

But maybe these parents are right to hold them back? Some scientists are saying that the rising rates of ADHD diagnoses also follows a trend of younger enrolled students. In the study, children with birthdays nearest the grade cutoff on the younger side are many times more likely to be diagnosed. In other words, being the youngest (the runt) just means you’re…less mature, and probably less well behaved. No surprise.

We can chalk it up to the band-aid parents, those who put protective band-aids on when there is no cut and just to be safe (for the child’s sake). This point leads me to this article in the NYT which highlights how some colleges have built in parental buffers for over protective parents. Some of the measures include clearly indicating that freshman orientation activities are for freshman only, a ceremony where parents and children are segregated with speakers with backs to parents and events concurrently happening (one for the parents and one for the students).

Ah, our generation is going to be something else. I wonder what kinds of parents we will be. I think the ‘Generational Archetypes‘ is a great model for how we relate to our parents, grandparents and future children.

By now it is clear that I can’t, don’t and won’t follow the directions and name a favorite anything. But I’ll leave you with a progression of things.

In high school, I was obsessed with the following quote by Alphonse Karr:

The more things changes, the more they stay the same.

An obvious me quote. But it seems to still ring true. I went to college and became A LOT more optimistic (at least freshman year) and somewhat abandoned that quote. In it’s place, were quotes from my all time favorite youtube video, Unforgivable. I legitimately love these videos and find great pleasure in repeated them, and I’ve been told I do a great impression. And if I had to choose just one line, it would be….to hard to choose. So all of it. From start to finish. Videos #1, #2, #3#4.

Here are some other good gems:

“You never met me, you don’t know me, you haven’t been in my house, you don’t live with me, you don’t sleep with me, you don’t do shit with me, but talk about me. So watch what you say. That’s all, baby girl, that’s all I’m asking you is to watch what the fuck you say.” Whitney Houston, “Wendy Williams Experience”

The exposition for this quote is that it was the height of Whitney’s fuckery, the brink of her downfall. And I relate to it because it’s just so real. If you don’t know anything about someone but talk about them, you probably should watch what the fuck you say.

“Home is not where you live but where they understand you” – Christian Morgan

This quote recently hit home for me after college and the shambles of my friendship and state of being. Harvard did feel like home for a long time, and I had once felt a stronger connection it than my actual home. Yet, that last semester was so brutal and challenging that I began to understand this quote. It had always been an issue of people not “getting me.” But the last semester made it apparent that no one understand me any longer, or any more. I mean, yes, there are those that indeed understand me but a lot fewer than I had thought. Long story short, I returned from college very happy that I was in my home, in a place where I was the most understood.

“Sometimes when you win, you really lose, and sometimes when you lose, you really win, and sometimes when you win or lose, you actually tie, and sometimes when you tie, you actually win or lose. Winning or losing is all one organic mechanism, from which one extracts what one needs. ” – Gloria Clemente from White Men Can’t Jump

This entire quote will be a post later on, as it sums up all of college and those relevant years. Get ready for an epic post.