I find it odd that I forgot to post this part because it was rather fun to write.
My life is changing in very large and unexpected ways. And I embrace the lack of control and am stronger and more myself than I have ever been in my life. I can share this with you in person, before I manage to put it in words suitable for the internet. Either way, I'm back and I'm creative and I'm living.
I apologize for losing the format that includes pictures in these particular posts...
Harvard: The Ugly.
This is gonna be a challenge, but I know there's plenty. There's a prety seedy underbelly. Undoubtably #firstworldproblems. Serious considerations here.
- The people. There is intense elitism, entitlement, judgment, naivete, self-absorption, and competitive cruelty. I think almost everyone here has some combination of these, except for rare exceptions. Primarily the elitests come from entitled backgrounds, don't see the different needs of others, and either take advantage of their unfairly weighted options or piss them all away. Sometimes even those who weren't previously privileged end up this way, feeling as if their brilliance and superiority have finally been validated. These are the stereotypical Final Clubbers and so forth. The naivete applies sometimes to these, sometimes to those I previously mentioned in The Bad who just don't bother to live for themselves. They take advantage of what they're given, the people who serve them, and let others do all the work for them. They are born for the Bubble. The self-absorbed are parts of all of these, or the deceptively innocuous individuals who know nothing but how to talk about themselves, succeed, lord it over others and live for themselves. They refuse to see others because why bother if they don't have any use. The competitively cruel speak for themselves.
- The opportunities. This leads to two prime Uglies: undeserved privilege, and opportunities that don't really exist. Privilege is a catch-phrase in academia and social advocacy right now; I usually dismiss it, but here it can be made to apply. Perhaps you're unaware of your opportunities. Perhaps you just don't give a fuck and piss them all away. Perhaps you take advantage of them so that others can't, and lord it over all those jerks who didn't like you in high school even though you were clearly better than them. You got into Harvard and that H-bomb will follow you around for life whether you want it to or not. It can fuck you over, or you can use it to your advantage to fuck over others. As for opportunities that don't really exist, this comes in when we consider flexibility. Gen Ed is restricting. Pre-med requirements are restricting. Opportunities can only exist for certain people who take advantage or are presumed to be more deserving, more wealthy, more likely to succeed. Opportunities can be limited to things that only certain people care about, that are useless or trivial or entirely self-serving. We may have come to a powerfully academic institution, but some of us want lives outside of academia, and it can be scary to find them on our own outside the Bubble. Or maybe the real experiences that are worth having here exist outside the Bubble, making the Bubble and what it has to offer unnecessary, or detrimental.
- The support. Here's the tricky part where I primarily draw upon horror stories from others. Support can be painfully absent when it's needed most. It can be callous and avoiding. It can be completely useless and detrimental. Perhaps you're given time off, convinced to leave, and pushed into never returning. Legitimate exceptions can be pulled out from under you if you're deemed unworthy. The self-subsistent drive within and outside us could breed an attitude of "you caused this, you have the power to fix it". Get over it. Fix yourself or you're not worthy of yourself or anyone or anything.
- The flexibility. One can also argue that it's too much to choose from, it ends up being detrimental, it's undeserved. I went over most of these factors already. It can give false hope for the future, especially when one rejects it in the end in favor of a vanilla life of the guaranteed $100k job out of college that no one our age can honestly say they deserve.
The catchphrase here is privilege. Privilege, entitlement, privilege. We earned a lot but don't deserve as much as this. We need to give back. We need to spread the wealth and take advantage without hurting others or ourselves. There's so much more and so much more important things that so many of us do, but so many others refuse to - things that enrich our world, other people, or equally importantly, ourselves. We're useless to ourselves and the people we love and the people who deserve to be helped, who deserve privilege, unless we make ourselves the best we can be to the best of our ability. This can be a burden, but it's a burden that's more than worth bearing.
Don't really think a FUUU is appropriate here. A determination-FUUUU maybe. Or an ugly rage FUUUU that comes before all that inspirational lecture crap. So here's a puppy.