Friday, August 1, 2014
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SHEA: Too old for this

It’s probably because of the freezing cold weather and depressingly short days, but I’ve turned into a grumpy, pessimistic introvert lately, and the prospect of six more weeks of winter makes it even worse. So, I’ll be anxiously awaiting the groundhog’s reaction Sunday.

The normal things that make me happy just aren’t doing it these days, mainly since I feel like I’m on house arrest in StuVi. It has been weeks since I have ventured somewhere downtown, something I used to do all the time.

I have only been going out on the weekends — I barely have any inclination to do ThirstyThursday anymore. Besides all of this, I think I’m just coming to terms with being old — or, at least, too old for this.

By “this,” I mean dealing with all the cheerful young freshmen and sophomores at Boston University who are so excited by their blossoming futures, completely and happily unaware that the feeling only lasts for so long. I love BU more than any other place in the world — it is not only the center of my universe, but also the entirety of my universe itself. But I, too, was the same way as an underclassman: too optimistic to really care about any chance I might actually not reach my career or academic goals.

While the Millennial rant has been quite overdone, especially in the past year, I often reflect on how important it is to not feel special and entitled, or at least too optimistic altogether. It isn’t this generation’s fault that loads of hippie nonsense was constantly emphasized in the 1990s and 2000s, and that teachers and parents would remind us over and over again how we were each precious and unique snowflakes, but guess what? Snowflakes kind of suck, especially the ones that have been making way too many appearances lately during snowstorms.

I don’t pause on the BU Bridge to behold the miraculous spectacle of a particular snowflake, but instead try to ignore them and get back to my apartment as quickly as possible.

Each time I have to ask someone for anything, be it a recommendation, a stop by office hours or extra handout from class, I’m self-conscious. I’m coming across as an entitled 21-year-old princess who always has to have her way, which I like to think is entirely untrue.

I just hope more of my peers realize that vainly boosting themselves with self-affirmations each day is not beneficial whatsoever. While it’s important to think about one’s own accomplishments, that can’t obscure the reality that in a dream job, graduate school program or internship, there are so few positions for only the most special of snowflakes. Sometimes I wish I were raised with more modesty as a child instead of exclusively learning about positive reassurance all the time.

Although I’ve basically been allergic to happy people lately, I’m optimistic that once mercury starts rising in the thermometers, I’ll be back to myself. And by “myself,” I mean a normal human being who likes to drink a lot on Thursday nights.

 

Sydney L. Shea is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached atslshea@bu.edu.

 

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