Opinion: Just care a bit

Why+not+celebrate+ourselves+and+each+other+instead+of+trying+to+meld+into+the+gray+social-bolus-jello-monster-of-unidentity%3F

Owen Egger

Why not celebrate ourselves and each other instead of trying to meld into the gray social-bolus-jello-monster-of-unidentity?

Owen Egger, Special Projects Editor

We just don’t care.

We live in this toxic high school bubble of cool-or-not and socially right-or-wrong. But the reality isn’t so binary. We need to look at ourselves and each other on a spectrum. Everyone is different. Everyone enjoys something.

We’re giving up our passions. It’s our fear of not fitting into this arbitrary binary model of social interaction.

When do we decide that apathy is the “correct” approach? Why do we attack our peers who love to read or write or draw or express ANY sort of interest that isn’t completely conformist with the arbitrary persona of cool? Why (and how) do we— the individual members of society— let this happen?

“Why is being a nerd bad? Saying I notice you’re a nerd is like saying, ‘Hey, I notice that you’d rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you’d rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?””

— John Green

John Green said it most aptly:

“Why is being a nerd bad? Saying I notice you’re a nerd is like saying, ‘Hey, I notice that you’d rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you’d rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?”

We all enjoy things. None of us are robots. We have thoughts and feelings, desires and loves. So why not show them? Why not celebrate ourselves and each other instead of trying to meld into the gray social-bolus-jello-monster-of-unidentity?

I don’t think anyone is stupid. SAT scores, GPAs, AP classes sure. But those are just letters and numbers and a human (brain) CANNOT be summed or even wholly represented by them.

We need to let ourselves as individuals be individual.

One of the most absolutely infuriating things about our generation is represented in the character of Matt Saracen in NBC’s drama Friday Night Lights. The entire town of Dillon, Texas cannot wrap its slimy gray mind around the idea that Matt, a quuuuarterback, wants to pursue art in college instead of football. Why?

We can never ask ourselves “why?” enough. It’s a simple fact of living. So let’s keep asking. Let’s keep questioning why we see it as so wrong for someone to be different, for someone to not live behind a mask of frivolity and partying and homecoming-and-high-school-football-games-are-the-peak-of-life.

Because those things aren’t.

At 17 or 18 years old we haven’t even started yet. We aren’t the people we’ll be in ten years, and probably not even the same people we’ll be in five. Don’t even think about 50. We can’t possibly know these things. But we do know that we think and feel. We care about things and the worst we can ever do to ourselves is to deny our own feelings and passions for the sakes of what we fear others will think or feel.

I don’t know if this is a Millenial problem or a teenager problem. But it’s an uncomplicated solution summed in a few words.

We need to let ourselves care.