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FAILURES IN A BOTTLE

Posted by on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 in Many Voices, One VU, Personal Well-Being, Self-Discovery.

Andrew Brodsky, ’18, Peabody College, Student VUceptor

At times, it seems the problem on our campus is that everyone is just too talented. There is someone here who is better than you at everything, and without any effort at all. They’re double majoring in chemical and biomedical engineering, studying abroad, and feeding 2,000 starving children at a food bank in Tanzania.

The even greater problem on our campus, though, is that we don’t want anyone to see us struggle. What do we do, if we don’t put our failures out in the open for others to identify with? We bottle them up, giving them agency to grow and devour our sanity. We bottle them up to evade weakness, afraid it will scare off the friends we work so desperately to hold on to. And the price is isolation, insecurity, and depression of our fellow students and ourselves. I challenge you to uncork that bottle and let your story pour out. Here, I’ll go first.

I’m a junior, double majoring in HOD and communication studies. Of course, I don’t want to admit that I’ve actually changed majors 17 times, twice entertained the idea of dropping out (once to be a florist, the other to be a New York cabbie), and had four mental breakdowns because I have no idea what I’m doing with my life.

I’ve been to several appointments at the Psychological and Counseling Center. I’ve also cried for ten minutes straight while looking at their website to make an appointment and convinced myself that there was something wrong with me, because I knew no one else who went there.

“What do we do, if we don’t put our failures out in the open for others to identify with? We bottle them up, giving them agency to grow and devour our sanity.”
“What do we do, if we don’t put our failures out in the open for others to identify with? We bottle them up, giving them agency to grow and devour our sanity.”

I was in the alternate pool to be an RA, applied to be on Honor Council but didn’t get an interview, and was rejected from ‘Dore for a Day and tour guides. I barely made a C in Chem 102 my fall semester and withdrew from Math 150 because, apparently, I’m not nearly as good at those subjects as high school had led me to believe. But, I still have to constantly placate myself, because I’m still awesome and proud of what I’ve experienced…and everyone I know goes through those exact same struggles.

Well, that’s me.

Now swallow your pride, step out from behind your facade of felicity, and expose the insecurities and doubts and worries that keep you up at night. Don’t let these so-called failures and deficiencies tear you down in silent solitude. It will be a comfort to many to know that they aren’t facing these issues alone. We will all be better for it.

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