Your whining is not worth my time or yours

597

It's a typical weekday at DePauw. I'm currently facing that "we're standing next to each other in this strangely long Hub line and we hung out three or four times freshman year so I guess we should ask each other how we're doing" situation.

Inevitably I will try to make small talk. "How are you?" I'll ask.

And then the apocalypse begins.

Let's be honest — I'm at least quasi-genuinely interested in your response. Sure, tell me how your birthday was. Let me know what you thought about last week's episode of "Glee." I'd even bewilling to sit through a mini-tangent about the antics of your ex-boyfriend (won't he ever learn?).

But the response I'll hear is inevitably much worse. With dialogue characteristic of a Looney Tunes cartoon and theatrics worthy of a silent film, I will be witness to the soap opera that is just how busy you truly are.

Before you even open your mouth time seems to slow down and I can hear a weird version of "Carmina Burana" performed by angry bulls and elephants. Meanwhile my hair begins to blow in the breeze of your fury. Small forest animals stop, turn up one ear, and listen, anticipating the storm to come.

Let's start with the general: it is nearly impossible to be you. First, I'll get a run-down of your classes. Coursework this semester is unbelievable: you have reading, assignments, and your professors occasionally have expectations of you. The other day you participated in class multiple times without even doing the reading — you don't know how you pulled that one off, but you'll have to keep it up if you want to maintain your glamorous social calendar.

Let's not even talk about your extra-curricular commitments. You're a leader — not just a leader you'll note, but the leader — and as the leader you're always doing all the work. No one else participates, no one cares, and all of your time is spent runningaround attempting to disprove the latter. Did I know that you had meetings? And even the occasional late night? The other day you barely had time to exercise- nightmare!

Then there's the worst part of your life — people keep asking you to do more things.

Whether it's requesting your brilliant insights on another committee, or generously lending a hand to a friend in need with his or her event, you are constantly bombarded with invitations to share your oh-so-precious time upon other dimcrevices of campus.

It's exhausting, really.

"I'm just so busy, you know," you say, pausing to adjust your over-stuffed Vera Bradley bag (inevitably filled with caffeine and those books you don't have time to read). But we both know that I could only hope to empathize with your time-management skills, or the many expectations placed on you.

After all, it's you and only you who happens to be embracing that uncommon experience. Yes, you have a rare breed of Tiger blood that allows you to balance the harrowing duties of homework and extra-curricular opportunities and social engagements.

My roommates and I have a saying for this overwhelming lifestyle you lead — "Rough life in 301." For those unfamiliar with the vernacular, it means that only true American heroes or patriots — like Rocky and Adrian — could understand the obstacles you overcome each and every day.

Maybe this scene is a little exaggerated — except the Vera Bradley, that's an all-too-literal reference to my purse.

But let's be honest, each day students complain about their many obligations as if only they are experiencing the "stresses" that come with challenging academics, multiple campus opportunities, and a trend of strong leadership.

We're only in college once, and save a few exceptions, most students are having a great time: let's embrace what we have and quit whining about it.

— Ayers is a junior Honor Scholar from Cincinnati, majoring in political science.

macy.ayers@thedepauw.com