It’s officially the time of the quarter when people actually have to try to look for tables in Geisel (UCSD’s esteemed library, which is still somehow not big enough for its twenty-thousand-plus student population). I’m one of the few losers who can say that I’ve been here almost every single day for the past eight weeks, and the transformation throughout the quarter is truly incredible, and also kind of pathetic. People at this school study so much it’s insane. I myself am just here for the good times, and to roast said people who are studying, because if I’m honest with myself, my time for making fun of them is limited. Once we all graduate and start working, I will have to reckon with the fact that everybody here will probably earn a starting salary ten times mine. I, however, will be one of those girls in the Refinery29 Money Diaries who lives with her parents and uses their credit card to buy groceries at Trader Joe’s.
It’s okay, though. I’m fine with it, mostly because I’m playing the long game. You think I’m just lounging around in the library all day, making fun of STEM majors? No, I’m working. I’m putting in my ten thousand hours. I’m writing my million words, my crappy first drafts. I’m the girl who brought the notebook into Black Panther to take notes on all of its plot points, but honestly, I did that because I had already watched Black Panther that day and needed to justify paying money to see it again, and also I never looked at that notebook after that. I have no idea where it is.
The pacing of that movie, however, embedded itself into my writerly intuition. All the books I’m reading, in fact, have embedded themselves into my writerly intuition. That’s why I’m such a good writer. Did I understand There There, by Tommy Orange? Not really, but I read it, so it must have benefited me somehow. I also predicted the ending of Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn—I read it last night while eating chicken apple sausage—and Publisher’s Weekly said “[the end] is so twisted that even the most astute readers won’t have predicted it.” I’m not the most astute reader. I’m BEYOND astute. I’m so beyond astute that I probably forgot that I read the Wikipedia plot summary of Dark Places a few months ago and really thought that I predicted it myself.
At any rate, I’m working hard. I’m on the grind. Even when I’m not paying attention in class—which, at this point of the quarter, is most of the time—I’m paying attention to something else. I’m stalking famous people on Wikipedia. I’m replying to influential Twitter users, and—get this—they’re replying back to me. I’m looking at people’s LinkedIns without private mode on, and trying to coach myself through the fact that they all went to really, really good schools and probably showed, like, a lot of potential when they were younger. They also probably overcame a lot of adversity and wrote bomb college essays on it. I wrote a college essay about how I was homeschooled and learned what the curse words were from my dad when we were driving home from Olive Garden one day.
To be fair, this was the summer before I entered public high school. He didn’t want me to, like, die.
But really, this post is just borne from so many frenetic end-of-year fears o’ mine. And as surely as Geisel fills up with people in the last few weeks of the quarter, surely I will write something that is supposed to be sarcastic but really just turns into something that exposes my own fears. To my friends out there who don’t know what’s going on with their lives but who are also
cursed blessed with some kind of love for something, and some kind of determination to see that thing through: most of us are probably not going to “make it.” But honestly, we’d hate ourselves more if we didn’t try.
On that note, happy week eight!