March 22, 2019

Destroying Jotenheim | Reintroducing Excitement Into Your Life At Cornell

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A close friend of mine once told me to seek discomfort.

Actually, that’s not true at all. She’s said it much more than just once; like, every time we get in the car together.

Of course, we all have that one friend or family member that more than occasionally gets stuck on his/her soapbox. And we also have that one friend who, once they get stuck on something, is about as easy and painless to unstick as a band-aid.

Needless to say, my mind isn’t a steel trap, and the constant pestering eventually got me thinking. Suddenly I was stuck on the very question that tweens and forty-year olds alike have struggled with for centuries: Is my life boring?

I’m not exactly sure what I expected for my first year at Cornell, but I can tell you that a lot of it came from movies binged on quiet Friday nights back home with the family. Were a lot of my experiences this past semester worthy of those expectations? Nope.

Creating multiple fake emails in a desperate bid to prolong my free Netflix trial (and when that didn’t work, cramming all of The Office into thirty days) sure wasn’t. Tripping and tumbling down a mountain strategically located in the center of campus – in broad daylight? Didn’t make the cut either. And no, I was not expecting to eat in the dining hall alone every other night. Nor the loneliness that comes with that. 

Thinking about all of this at the start of the spring semester, I’ve begun to believe that my friend is a lot more observant than I gave her credit for. Or, at the very least, pretty spot-on with her insults. Since I refuse to believe that I’m old enough to have already hit my mid-life crisis, this lack of ‘excitement’ in my life can only be natural. So the question is, how does one go about fixing it?

Clearly I have no idea, but I’m also not going to allow that to stop me this semester.

These past few days, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that stupid mantra. Feels like it’s been following me everywhere: while opting to grab soup in the nearby cafe with BRBs I can’t afford instead of facing those intimidating and lonely dining halls, or swerving off the path to take an unnecessary detour just for the sake of avoiding a familiar face when my eyes are puffy and face red from the cold (don’t you dare judge me on that one, I know you’ve done it too). Seek discomfort… after the poor results I got last semester practicing the exact opposite, I can’t help but wonder if the experience would have been equally antithetical if I chose instead to take my friend’s cheesy, Hallmark-card advice to heart.

So why not give it a try? What’s the worst that can happen?

And that’s the goal now, the purpose of this entire blog. It’s a bit late for a new year’s resolution and making all of those verbal pledges I never stick to anyways (still love food and still viciously resist all forms of exercise), so INSTEAD we have a documented series of cringe-worthy honesty that I’ve committed myself to, not only as a binding excuse to provide for any potentially regretful situations that this possibly very stupid idea gets me into, but also to relay the experience for any and all of you willing to tag along for the ride– out of curiosity? kinship? a good laugh at my expense? 

Doesn’t matter. Go for it; that’s what I’m here for. So many times we talk about making a change in our personal lives, but very rarely do we ever actually go through with it. Sometimes you need to just stop and force yourself to do a thing or two out of the ordinary. Whether that thing does makes any significant difference or not? I guess I’ll find out. But I know I can’t be the only one having a crisis five months into college, and if I am? At least it makes for a good story.