After reading through the rest of this freshman guide, you may be wondering, “What have I gotten myself into? Isn’t heinousness a bad thing? And how awkward are tits, exactly?” Only experience will answer you, but here are three reasons why you shouldn’t drop out before you get to campus:
Chances are, if you’re going to Northwestern, there is at least a small inner part of you that is a massive dork. And now you can let that part fly free, like a glorious bespectacled eagle. I’m pretty sure it is literally against Northwestern policy to dislike Harry Potter.
Don't do it and a defenseless child WILL be punched in the face as a direct result of your thoughtlessness.
Hundreds of anti-bullying organizations made joyful preparations to close their doors immediately after an email circulated Northwestern listservs on February 22rd encouraging all to “Stand up against bullying! WEAR A PINK SHIRT TOMORROW!!!”
This effort was made in light of the resounding success of recent campaigns, such as the “bra game”, whereby many women changed their Facebook statuses to the color of the bra they were wearing. When questioned about it by men, they explained that it was an attempt to remind people of the prevalence of breast cancer, gave links to relevant information, and prompted donations or volunteer work for research centers and hospitals said that it was a secret.
The pioneers of this campaign originally stated, “Firstly, we think breast cancer is a really hidden issue – no one knows what it is! – so awareness is definitely what we need to work on to enact change. Therefore, we decided that setting up a phenomenon designed to keep half the population in the dark and vaguely remind the other half of the existence of breast cancer will really achieve our goals.”
The campaign was re-launched in October 2010, with activists blaming the continuation of the disease on the irresponsible few who did not change their Facebook status the first time. During the second wave, people posted “I like it on [current location of their purse]” as their statuses. As expected, this yielded the overwhelming response of “You like it on the kitchen counter? Wow, I really should encourage the women in my life to get tested for cancer.”
Mine would have been "I like it hanging from a hook on my door". I did not update my status.
If everyone simultaneously uploads a new album, will she stop talking?
“It’s a social justice revolution!” exclaimed Dr. Non S. Equitur, the man behind the movement to change Facebook profile pictures to cartoon images to raise awareness about child abuse. “We simply took the old model, which was awareness + contribution of time or resources, and removed the contribution part. And eventually the awareness part.”
Humanitarian leaders lauded the simplicity of the solution, with many resigning from their positions to help the world in much more tangible ways, like parting their hair to the left in order to end human sex trafficking. One man proposed to alleviate poverty, eliminate murder, and bring back ten species of extinct animals with an innovative combination of clothing choice and Facebook “liking.” It was rejected, however, because “it would just be too much effort.”
Some do worry that the power of these campaigns will be used manipulatively. It is rumored that the Egyptian internet shutdown was actually political prevention against a U.S. launched mission to institutionalize English as the official language by setting the Internet Explorer home page of all Egyptians to www.omglasergunspewpewpew.com.
Democratic? No. Awesome? Yes.
For now, though, it seems that statuses are being used mostly for the greater good, one step at a time. It is the miracle of today: Yes! One can actively prevent psychological or physical violence against others by wearing a certain color for one day! All that time spent on Facebook should really be considered volunteer work! Now go put a pink shirt on, and save the world half a step (possibly in the wrong direction) at a time.
Valentine’s Day: Love is in the air… and so is depression and anxiety. Our culture has laid out roles for each of us to play on this holiday, depending on whether we are single or in a relationship. The trouble is, the script is about as satisfying as the ending of “Lost”. Let’s take a look:
THE SINGLE SQUAD
This holiday devours all possibility of love from my soul.
It seems like there are two options here: sinking into a pit of misery, or deciding that V-day means losing your V-card. Option A assumes that Valentine’s Day is an irreversible signal of your impending fate to die unloved and alone. Every show of affection on this day is an intentional stab-wound to a heart that shrivels away minute by minute. In fact, going out today and witnessing it all would be just plain masochistic. Outside world, you had your chance. To the Nutella jar it is.
Remember, leave room for Jesus
Option B focuses on Valentine’s Day’s past as a fertility ritual, while serving as a giant middle finger to the idea of monogamous relationships. It begins with flirting (often with methods about as subtle as using “Does this rag smell like chloroform to you?” as a pickup line), and ends with you becoming the lovechild of a tequila-desperation-shame threesome. Even more so than most Keg nights.
THE S.S. RELATION-SHIP
He just told her that Pride and Prejudice is his favorite novel.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have a set ideal for couples; the end of every fairytale. The stuff Taylor Swift sings about. The stories that got forwarded through chain letters in middle school, hearts and emoticons included.
The girls in these relationships know his favorite song, his aspirations, his greatest fears. The guys don’t tell her she’s hot, they tell her she’s beautiful.
"You are a valuable aesthetic contribution to my environment."
In reality, though, no relationship is perfect. And in striving for perfection, especially with the pressure and clichés of Valentine’s Day, couples easily move from “adorable” to “obnoxious” to “shoot me now”. Don’t get me wrong, I like stuffed animals and chocolate as much as the next person, but when the animals are matching pink fluffy heart-covered bears that squeak “I wuvs you”… well, this is the line, and you are way the eff over it. It’s one thing to celebrate coupledom, and quite another to assert that no single person could be as happy as you are because, well, they just don’t have any fluffy pink bears in that barren land of singlehood.
Of course, not all couples or all single people are like these stereotypes, unless you live in a world that’s a cross between MTV and Hallmark. But these cultural beliefs are creating antagonistic and unsatisfying approaches to a day that is supposedly about bringing people together. This Valentine’s Day should be whatever you want it to be: a celebration of relationships, of individuality, or just another day where you take some time to tell the people you love that you value them. I turn to the immortalized words of one wise sage: “I wish we could all just get along like we used to in middle school. I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and we could all eat it and be happy.”