I have had four summers since coming to Stanford. The first was spent in basic training for the Marine Corps. The second was spent in Ramadi, Iraq on deployment, where I turned 21. The third was spent working on campus at the libraries, and the fourth was spent working for Maps and Records at Stanford libraries.
There lies a great deal of tension and contradiction within individuals when it comes to the realization of goals, as they are often in competition with other unrelated goals that an individual has.
One concern that has been brought up in the debate about the Chi Theta Chi lease termination is the loss of institutional memory. This is an issue that affects all of us who participate in student groups and other organizations generally. If you have ever been in a student group at the end of the year, two of the biggest concerns for the next year are what the goals will be and what the group will be like.
The Stanford campus is made for pedestrians, first and foremost. Many streets that were passable when I was a freshman no longer are, and the campus is becoming more restricted to traffic. Parking lots are being pushed farther and farther from the academic buildings, and as a result, more people choose to bike and walk.
What we can do though, if we still find some things inappropriate despite seeing them repeated so many times, is to not repeat those behaviors ourselves.
I am here to tell you that finding happiness isn't easy. It is not a simple matter of making a checklist of to-dos and then completing them as your happiness grows.
What follows then is a defense of my intended profession, supplemented by a conversational interview with Kirstin Quade, a fiction writer who lectures here at Stanford.
I decided that this weekend would be different. I wanted to enjoy something out of the ordinary by finding something very ordinary to do. I went for a hike.
One thing you will probably find quickly, if you look outside of yourself, is the prevalence of questionable assistance on problem sets and assignments.
It takes so little effort to treat others with a small degree of respect, and none at all to at least be ambivalent to them. Being uncivil can ruin someone else’s day. Why do it?
The other day I was considering what Stanford could do to help incoming freshmen. My own academic transition to Stanford came much easier than it would have if I hadn't gotten the education that I did get.
Stanford has afforded me the opportunity to explore the world with little recourse. I could go abroad, not go abroad, read books all day or just sleep in. At the end of the day, there is still a sense of security because at least until I graduate, Stanford isn’t going anywhere.
An important aspect of existentialism is the idea of authenticity, or presenting yourself as you really are. Being a veteran of the Iraq war, I have worn dog tags for a long time, because I was required to wear them during service. Because of this, I am not quite sure how I feel about nonmilitary civilians wearing dog tags on campus.