I’ve been degenerating while Stanford’s been a’ramping

Nov. 7, 2018, 2:00 a.m.

Last week, the warm-heartedness of the Stanford campus infused my soul with wonder. It left me marveling at the infinite possibilities of the world and of myself. I wrote about this elation in my last Grind article but also took into account the fact that high moments will come back down.

Now, one week later, it turns out that I was right! The onset of concrete work — midterms, club meetings, course registration, developing My Passion In Life, etc. — inconveniently accompanies a development of mild sloth in my soul. For your convenience, I have generously organized instances of my fresh degeneracy into a pretty list:

  • Hygiene: I’ve neglected laundry for longer than I like. While my hamper resembles Everest, my clothes lie in puny piles within my dresser.
  • Eating wrong: I love the food here! Organic, no oil, ice cream every day. I usually enjoy every single bite, but the onset of work has transformed me into a consumption robot as I mechanically, tastelessly shovel stuff into my mouth. 🙁
  • Internet distractions: My browsing history bursts with Reddit, celebrity news and Facebook memes. It’s not even like I’m distracting myself through educating myself, like watching Vice documentaries or browsing the latest startups. It’s like Google Imaging “cookie dough cheesecake” at 1:30 a.m.
  • Later bedtimes: During Week 1, I thought 1 a.m. was late. During Week 6, 3:30 a.m. is just a chill, albeit frontal-lobe-impaired, evening.
  • Uh, I kind of wrote this Grind article past my due date.

In summary, Stanford’s course load is a’ramping, and I’m degenerating. If you read my ecstatic article last week, I’m sorry if you think that this article is the Most Demoralizing Sequel Ever. But fear not! My emotional state dwells not in a dire place! I’m loving very nearly everything that’s keeping me busy. Plus, in my experience, stressful stuff eventually works itself out. So my brain has been spouting out all these constructive thoughts: “Whatever happens…

  • …most of your work will be over in like four days!”
  • …this is Stanford! No matter how badly you do, this community will help ensure you carry on.”
  • …dealing with difficulty is a normal college experience and absolutely critical in developing tenacity.”
  • …you can forget about your future right now by taking another hour-long Youtube stroll!” (Ok, maybe that’s not a constructive thought.)

I’d like to end my humble reflection with a contrived parable from my own life. This past week, I lost my dorm key. Fearing that $150 fee, I overturned my backpack and blankets and books, keenly searching for a golden metallic gleam. A couple evenings later, I lost my favorite blue water bottle. The next morning, my contact lens dropped off my finger and in the direction of my shag carpet. (That’s dangerous stuff; my shag carpet is so shaggy that it’s uncharted territory.) I thought, “Oh nooo, there goes my home, water source, eyesight and probably life dreams.” But after a frantic searching spree throughout my entire dorm room, I found a) my key buried in the depths of my dresser; b) a cute Plentea glass bottle to fulfill my hydration needs; and c) that dang contact lens just bumming around on my shoulder. My world thus re-aligned in 10 minutes; I thought that a fancy life lesson had to float somewhere amidst all my relief. Maybe the world wanted to whisper, “Millieee, however lost you feeeel, you’ll find them or be alright or somethinggg.” Whatever it’s saying, I’m listening!


Contact Millie Lin at milliel ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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