The One About ~Rejection~

By Kate Devine

Oh that bittersweet feeling.

Everyone has experienced a stinging sense of rejection at some point in their life. Whether you come from being a big fish in a little pond to a little fish in a big pond, or even if you have always been the little fish, everyone faces rejection.

And it still sucks every time.

The girl you met last Saturday left you on ‘read’, your fantasy team just keeps on losing, or you just dropped a FAT 60% on your Biostats quiz (wait, just me? okay, moving on).Rejection is an unfriendly reminder that you are not always the shit. It’s also a funny thing in that it affects all of us differently. Some of us overcompensate in the face of rejection while others stop trying completely.

How do I handle rejection you may ask? Well I’ll tell you what I definitely don’t do. I absolutely do not act like a six-year-old and cope through whining, complaining, and maybe even shedding a few tears.

How completely immature! I can’t relate whatsoever!

If you are like me and came into college still riding your high-horse of self-esteem built upon your high school experience, you definitely got a reality check within the first week. It has you reacquaint yourself with the uncomfortable and urges you to reconstruct what is actually important to you. You get knocked down a few pegs by being thrust into the whirlwind of college classes, new friend groups, and meeting your archenemy-  FOMO (FOMO can be translated to ‘Fear of Missing Out’ {for all you horse-and-buggy folks}).

You eventually put yourself into a mentality of not feeling ‘good enough’ since all the things that came easy to you in high school just don’t anymore. Entering my sophomore year, I was quick to learn that the same rings true for the next year as well! And eventually what I’ve realized is that this will be a recurring theme throughout my entire life.

Because let’s face it:

-We all deal with rejection.

-We all will continue to face rejection.

-It’s just a matter of life.

Now that we know we will be experiencing rejection in its many shapes and sizes for the rest of our lives- what good does it do for us to hate it?

Think of it this way:

Next time I get my Stats quiz back and I’m staring at an unfortunate grade (which we can all agree is bound to happen again soon) is it easier to whine, curse the professor out, and feel sorry for myself or rather to take it as an opportunity to learn and grow?

What good is it holding on to that negativity?

If you are reading this right now wallowing in your own sorrows- cut it out! Say thank you to your rejection. It helped you learn, it helped you grow, and it made you more self-aware. And hey, it’s healthy to be knocked down a couple times because it makes the come-up that much better.

So, whether you’re the big fish, little fish, or whatever down on your luck creature, know that there’s a point to all of this.

It’s bigger than us; and we have so much to learn.

NNNN

Does the Man Who Dies Rich Die Disgraced?

The following piece is inspired by an article written by Andrew Carnegie called “The Gospel of Wealth” (1889) (PLEASE READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

There is nothing wrong with wealth.

Let me say that again.

There is nothing wrong with wealth.

And one more time for the people in back.

There is nothing wrong with wealth.

I want to make it blatantly clear that this title should not be read as “The man who gets rich dies disgraced” because as we have now went over three times- there is nothing wrong with wealth.

This article will be focused on the idea of dying with wealth.

Pat, you really gotta be talking about death on a wonderful Wednesday like today? Give it a rest chief.

Yeah and absolutely not.

I think the easiest way to go about this is to provide a few quotes from the reading and give my interpretation of them.

Let’s get right into it:

Quote #1: 

“By taxing estates heavily at death the state marks its condemnation of the selfish millionaire’s unworthy life”

In my history discussion last Friday, I asked my classmates what they thought about the quote “The man who dies rich dies disgraced” and I’m so happy that one kid had the courage to say what many others were likely thinking:

“Well, I don’t really think that is true. What about the NFL player who earned millions through playing years in the NFL. He worked hard, earned that money, and should get to keep it. What did he do wrong if he wants to keep his money?

It’s a valid objection.

My response was that the hypothetical NFL player didn’t do anything wrong (although their post-career brain might say otherwise).

They just did nothing. 

Quote #2:

“In bestowing charity, the main consideration should be to help those who will help themselves”

Leaving UMass last spring, I stopped by Starbucks to grab a venti iced coffee unsweetened with two packets of raw sugar (and light ice). When I came out of the store, I saw a homeless man looking desperate and sitting on the sidewalk. For whatever reason, on this day I decided not to avoid eye contact by any means necessary. I gave the man $10 before throwing in a classic “God bless you”  before walking off.

I don’t tell this story to brag about my generosity.

I tell this story because when I came back this year for the start of fall semester and grabbed a slice of Antonio’s pizza- I saw my friend in the exact same spot as last year.

My first thoughts went a little something like this:

“My broke ass gives this fucking homeless guy $10 to better his life and I come back the next year to see him in the exact same fucking spot as before? Fucking bum. That’s the last time I ever give money to a fucking panhandler. Get a job you lazy fuck.

It’s not pretty to see that typed out and I’m not proud of it- but that’s what I originally thought.

But then I really thought about it.

What was he supposed to do with $10?

Giving this man my hard earned money was my fault; it was a terrible investment. Why? Because I let my emotions of seeing a person struggling on the street overcome my logic.

I don’t know his exact situation but I do know that if you’re holding a can on the sidewalk- you probably don’t have a lot going for you.

Issues could include (but are not limited to):

-Lack of stable shelter

-Lack of food

-Lack of education

-Addiction/Substance abuse

This experience taught me that monetary handouts to those who don’t know what to do with it don’t work. I’d suspect this type of thinking explains why 70% of lottery winners wind up bankrupt (amongst other factors).

This experience is also why I like the cliche quote “Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you’ve fed him for a lifetime.”

The point I’m trying to make is that I understand a reluctance to give money to people who are going to turn around and throw it all away on crap.

But what if that money went to people who have all the basic necessities of life but have never had the opportunities or guidance necessary for growth?

People who:

-Grew up in low-income neighborhoods and went to schools with shitty uninspired teachers.

-Are truly intelligent but have never succeeded in a typical school setting.

And in the broadest sense?

-Want to succeed; but just don’t know how.

Quote #3:

“The man who dies rich dies disgraced”

I’ll leave the rest up to you.

NNNN

Editor’s Note: 

Andrew Carnegie practiced what he preached in some ways by funding public libraries and giving lots of money to philanthropic endeavors. However, as an employer he was tyrannical, strongly opposed unions, and even approved of violence against his workers when they went on strike. With that being said, this piece was not about the man; it was about the man’s ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social Media Is Not Evil

I want to make one viewpoint of mine abundantly clear:

Social media is not evil.

It seems like every single time any issue is brought up, some genius is quick to place the blame solely on our dear friend social media.

That’s like blaming your virtual Tom Brady for throwing an interception in the Madden NFL video games.

The problem is not social media.

It’s you.

I’m going to use Instagram for our example today but this thought process applies to all the other major forms out there as well.

If you’re a dude with over 1,000 followers like me then posting a picture of you with a funny caption is almost sure to yield hundreds of likes . (I know- I’m a big deal!)

And if you’re a girl- do I really have to say what pictures get the most likes?

No likes? No relevance.

It’s time for our first question:

What if there were no likes?

Pat, what do you mean no likes? That’s literally the whole point of the app! Stop trying to be woke and go back to writing about shitty UMass football.

I think the reason people hate the idea of no likes is because a change like that would mean that that the only point in sharing something would be to provide benefit to your followers. (Unless you’re attractive- trust me the horny folks will stick around no matter what)

If Instagram won’t get rid of likes then I think they should at least change the name to something more applicable:

Envys.

I think most people have heard something along the lines of “Instagram is just a snapshot of real life”

I’d say it’s more like one pixel.

For this reason, I’m fascinated by the world of finstas. (Which for any boomers or non-internet savants translates to “Fake Insta”)

Has anyone else noticed that…

THESE ARE THE REALEST ACCOUNTS AROUND!!!!

Let’s call a spade a spade; creating a finsta is the safe way to use Instagram how you wish you could use it.

My message to anyone with a finsta? You just don’t have the guts to call it quits.

I’m not shooting from the hip here. I’m saying these things because I played the game myself for such a long time. I created the “NNNN” account so I could put out pieces of content that I believed in but knew wouldn’t get any likes on my personal page.

The likes mattered to me. It’s embarrassing- but they did.

Something tells me that I’m not the only one who feels this way. I think there are people with real talents getting left behind because they weren’t the most popular kid in high school or they don’t have a rocking body. Frankly? It pisses me off.

Why?

Because likes are meaningless.

I know this is a tough pill to swallow because it has taken me years to finally force it down my throat.

But I’m positive- they’re meaningless.

  1. They don’t mean you’re better than those with no likes.
  2. They won’t make you a better person.
  3. And they certainly won’t make you feel any better about yourself for longer than the instant gratification of that day’s post.

They’ll just make you crave more.

I remember when I first got 100 likes on a post I couldn’t believe it.

I thought to myself:

“My life really is a movie!”

I still think all our lives are movies; they’re just not box office smash hits.

They’re more like a low budget indie film doing its best to get made.

This isn’t a bad thing in my eyes.

Just because something is popular doesn’t make it good. 

The last thing I want to hit on quickly is when people announce to their followers that they are “taking a break” from social media.

Doesn’t that itself represent the problem?

You decide that looking at what hundreds/thousands of people you barely know are doing is bad for you.

So, what do you decide to do?

Tell all these people you barely know that you are taking a break from social media.

Here’s the harsh reality:

They couldn’t care less and if they do they think you’ll be back on your bullshit soon enough.

Maybe you disagree and that’s fine.

Keep on posting whatever you think is going to get the most envys  likes and enjoy the artificial attention you receive.

But if you see where I’m coming from- don’t leave me alone in this.

The problem is not social media.

The problem is how you use it.

NNNN

P.S- Just something to think about

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Mid-College Crisis

By: Nicole Bates

I always heard the cliché: “College is the best four years of your life.” However, since arriving at college, I have become skeptical of this statement, because if college is the best four years of your life then I guess life is just downhill from here!

Now don’t get me wrong- college is fun! I love getting drunk with my friends on the weekend and having very little responsibility, but I think to myself: “There must be something more to it than this.” I know I’m getting deep here, but seriously! When you think about it, that cliché does not make sense. College may be the most reckless four years of your life, or the years where the most change happens, but is it really the BEST four years of your life?

I wonder to myself if that cliché has been spread as a means of control. They tell you that, so you are motivated to get good grades in high school, get into college, and get a degree. Then you can “contribute something meaningful” to the world. But sometimes I find it is easy to lose sight of why you are really here; to learn and grow as a human being. And in that case, you are really just following a socially constructed path: you graduate, get a boring, well-paying job, start a family and live in the suburbs. Before you know it, you’ll be just like your parents!

I am letting my cynicism take over a little here. I don’t necessarily think that lifestyle is a bad one. For some people, their goals revolve around stability and family. However, I feel as though the system doesn’t really allow room for students, who may not necessarily fit that mold, to explore other options.  So, now that you have some idea of my stance on college, let me tell you about the mid-college crisis I experienced when I arrived at school this fall.

I have never felt truly settled at UMass, but I think coming into my junior year, I went into full-on crisis mode. With two years in and two years left I thought: what am I actually doing here?

I’m starting to get antsy because now the novelty of being away from parents and going out to college parties has worn off, and I’m left to think about what I am actually getting out of an education that is costing me (and my parents) tens of thousands of dollars every year, and will leave me in debt for years after I am finished.

So, there I was a few days into the semester, sitting in my dorm room, having a BREAKDOWN. I was questioning my major, questioning my intelligence, and most importantly realizing I had become completely disillusioned by my education.

I called my parents and told them: “I know I’m a junior but I think I have to change my major.” Coming into this year I was a communication primary major with a theater secondary major and a minor in French. But I wasn’t fully invested in what I was learning; I missed reading challenging books in English class, I missed learning about animals in biology, and I never thought I’d say it but- I missed math. I discovered I actually love learning, and if I am going to be paying for this education, I want to feel like I am being educated.

My Dad’s solution to this crisis was to drop out. And I’m not going to lie; I seriously considered that as an option. But when my roommate heard me on the phone and gave me a worried look I knew that wasn’t a serious option.

I would be sad if I left.

Because as disillusioned as I had become at UMass, I knew I still had some good things going for me. I have amazing friends, in-state tuition and access to university resources I would not otherwise have access to.

Realistically, looking back at my life decisions, I think I would have really benefitted from a gap year, and I wish that was presented to me in high school as a viable option. But there’s no point in dwelling on the past, so I decided I needed to pull myself together and figure my shit out.

So, I acted.

I changed my secondary major to something where I felt I would be more intellectually engaged, and now in my four years I will come out with a double major and two minors: talk about making the most of your time here!

If you are anything like me and college isn’t what you hoped it would be, don’t get discouraged. And if you are younger than me and already questioning your major, DO NOT HESTITATE to explore your options. Because in the end, your undergraduate major won’t really matter, so you might as well study something you are passionate about.

A cliché I do agree with is “everything is what you make of it.”

No matter what kind of college experience you are having- make the most of it. Because though I don’t think it is necessarily the best four years of your life, it is definitely an influential period in a young person’s life, and you should be stimulating your mind in classes, in conversations with peers and in exploring everything the world has to offer.

NNNN