As a senior in college, I’m so excited to graduate. I’m excited to never have to deal with professors, homework, grades, tests, essays, books that are mandated rather than for recreation, and all the other stuff that goes on with school. I can’t wait to have an ordinary boring life. To go to work, leave everything at the door at the end of the day, and just unwind. Yes, work is stressful, but there’s a group that’s with you and helping you a long. It’s not like in school where you’re depending on your professors, but they don’t care that much about you. And you may compete with co-workers, but not with all of them, like when you compete with your classmates. There are jobs you can’t leave at the door, ones that will follow you home, and maybe I’m romanticizing an “ordinary” life, but I’m still done with school. I’m ready for the real world. I’m ready to have a job, make my own way, and even pay my student loans. I’m ready to start my life.
My mom constantly brings up struggles that people living in impoverished conditions face in order to make the people around her, and herself, feel more grateful for what they and she has. “Whenever you think you have it bad, just think about the people who walk bare foot in carrying heavy logs on their heads in [insert 3rd world country/continent named here]. It really puts things in perspective.” That reminds me of the aphorism parents say, “There’s people starving in Africa, you better finish your food.” My mom (and other people) uses “third world problems” to make her feel better and rid herself of white guilt. It helps her cope with her own “first world problems.”
In school we learned about something called fragmented self - how an individual is not whole, but instead different shards of one mirrored face that reflects and refracts society’s expectations. One fragment shows the way you were socialized, another your biologically determined traits and the last one illustrates how you yourself are subjugated in society, as well as how you place yourself in society. The conclusion is that you can never see yourself objectively because of the different lenses you place on yourself, and the gaze others place on you.
24 year old English major and ESL Teacher. Currently living in Fortaleza, Brazil. Feminist and kill joy with a cause.