Nostalgic trip to the old blog: “Sophomore Slump” (Jan 2013)
It’s hard to believe that I used to be a precocious teenager who had high hopes for the future, while being self-aware of things that could possibly cause a chain reaction. But now that future is here, and I have no idea what to do or where to start. I am not sure if this should be called a “senior slump” because it feels more serious than a minor hurdle.
But where is the cutoff between real life and student life? Are we forever students of something? Or are we supposed to do things on our own and, if anything goes wrong, hold ourselves accountable for it? Who sets the punishments–ourselves or others? How much longer do we have to live in absurdity, only to sedate these feelings of confusion and uncertainty with readymade remedies? (Why am I suddenly remembering Baudrillard, Camus, and all these crazy Frenchmen who talked about life and try to intellectualize everything? Am I taking academics too seriously?)
These are just a few of the burning questions I have had for years. Years, not months or a few days. Some times, all seems fine and normal. Other times, the feeling of anguish overcomes me. (Now I am remembering Antoine Roquentin and his description of a crab-like hand. These French intellects!) But now I am reaching a critical point in my life where I should have an idea of what I want to do with my life by now. The problem is, nothing is set in stone because I am thrown between “you’re still young, you’ll figure it out later” and “wtf, you should have already started!” and it’s giving me perpetual nausea.
Even if I were to talk to someone about this, the typical and go-to response would be “Everyone goes through it.” Everyone–I get that; I’m not saying that I’m the only person in the world who goes through it. But I want to know how I can cope with it, in relation to me. How can I use what makes me comfortable to help me get through a slump? All I ask for is someone to listen, not preach how things will pass soon, and not even bother to suggest ways I can go about the problem.
Some people make it look so easy, or maybe they are just downplaying it so they can avoid showing any vulnerability. (Aren’t we all trying to put up a front?) What about the late-bloomers? Don’t we have a right to know how the process works, in detail? Not everything comes easily to others. I can only hope to step outside my house without feeling like at any moment, the world will attack me today.