My last few columns have been more somber than I’d imagined when I first envisioned “Obsessive Kompulsion.” Originally, the plan was to look at a different one of my many tics each week, leading in with a fun representative anecdote, expanding on the broader implications of said tic and ending with a message along the lines of “yes, I’m ‘special’ (in the sense that I do very weird things), and I like myself because of those ‘special’ things.”
Wednesday night I biked all the way to In-N-Out at one in the morning. It started out as a trip to get Mexican food at a taqueria on S. California Avenue, and then to Happy Donuts on El Camino, once I realized the taqueria was only serving alcohol that late. Well, really it started out as an attempt to escape for a little bit. As I wrote about last week, I was feeling at a rock bottom of sorts; this week I felt more like I was flint scraping along that bottom layer, just barely rising in elevation. I have evolved, or devolved, into an identity crisis of sorts. This is the best I can do to explain it:
Sometime within the past week, I got derailed. On Sunday evening, I felt an overwhelming desire to crumple into my roommate’s futon and devolve into a hot mess of tears. In the time since then, I’ve had an overwhelming sense of sadness — not overwhelming in that I don’t feel happy, but in the sense that even when I have high highs, like seeing Mae Jemison, being accepted into Sophomore College and finalizing housing preferences for next year with my wonderful “drawmies,” I return to this low state of emptiness and confusion.
On the surface, I’m writing this column to convince one of my best friends to pick Stanford over Yale and Harvard (how’s that for subtlety, Rachel?), but beyond that, this column is for every Stanford ProFro who is currently undecided about where to spend the next four years of his or her life. I can sympathize with the nervousness about having to choose by May 1. Fortunately for me, Stanford’s Admit Weekend 2010 ended on April 24 — a full week before the deadline. But fortunately for you, Class of 2015, I didn’t decide until April 30, either, so we’re essentially in the same boat.
Saturday night I had what I can safely say is the worst dream I’ve ever had in my life. I dreamt that I was falling out of control. That I was becoming the person that nearly everyone I told I was going to school in California feared I would become: California embodied.
When I heard that William Deresiewicz, author of “The Disadvantages of an Elite Education,” was coming to speak at Stanford, I could not have been more excited. The 2008 article, which one of my dorm staff sent to our mailing list early fall quarter, has prompted me to think a lot about what it means to be at Stanford, receiving a “Stanford education” and whether or not I am truly challenging myself to become a serious thinker and productive member of society.
Yesterday was Thursday (Thursday); today, it is Friday (Friday); me, me, me so excited — me so excited, me gonna have a ball today. Please forgive me, but when else am I going to be able to use such horrible syntax and get away with alluding to Rebecca Black in a respectable publication? And besides, there are so many things to be excited about
On February 18, 2009, one of my classmates killed himself by jumping from the eleventh floor of my school in New York City. Two weeks and one day later on March 5, my beloved Aunt Cheryl, my mother’s one and only sister, died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism. The shock of those deaths and my memories of the subsequent days and weeks still send chills down my spine. And that’s mostly why I’ve tried to avoid thinking about them.