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March 5, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
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ATTN: First Years

For many people, Year 13 Prize-Giving marked the height
of their self-worth. The raucous applause of parents who
pretended to care that you were Top of English; getting your
photo taken with the Cup for Contribution to School Debating;
the Head Prefect’s speech–punctuated with tears–while the
music teachers wiped their misty eyes with the Kleenex they
had stuffed up their sleeves; the Chairperson of the Board of
Trustees who constructed their entire speech out of quotes from
inspirational world leaders… these were the Wonder Years.

Now you are at University. Now there are no award ceremonies
or A4 certificates drawn up on Microsoft Word to cater to
your small academic achievements. Yes, young grasshopper,
a feeling of self-worth is not so easily attained without the
comforting bling of your Prefect badge.

So how does one make the transition upstream from the
provincial pond to the city sea?

Maybe you will find your niche amongst the bubbling proles
who that Courtenay Place every Saturday night, where success
is defined only by your ability to hook up to the tune of Top 40
remixes as if it’s your first ever house party and you’re 15 years
old. Everyone can find love amidst the amorous smells of warm
alcohol and Lynx Africa.

Maybe you will work on your mad Ableton Live skillz, crafting
your DJ set to perfection until you finally get a gig at Cosmic
Corner every other Thursday night, playing a brand new
‘original’ remix of ‘Good Feeling’.

Want the advice of a second year student who changed their BA
major seven times last year? Probably not. I don’t even want my
own advice. But for the sake of student journalism, here it is.

Relax, kids. And be selfish. You are finally free to not live up to
expectations.

High school was a breeding ground for competition amongst
peers. Everyone was aware of the awards up for grabs, the
limited leadership positions available, and the few members
of the first XV who were actually worth sleeping with. Now
there is no metric system of success by which to measure
each individual. The sooner you realise that the Wonder Years
are over, the sooner you can work on personal goals of self-
betterment. You’re the only person who is going to care about
these personal successes, and soon enough you’ll find that
achieving your own, wayward goals is much more gratifying
than a cheaply-printed certificate, anyway.

Winston Churchill once said “The empires of the future are the
empires of the mind.” I feel this should inspire you, but if not,
well, inspire yourself.

 

Elise Munden

 


‘weekly rant’ is a space for one-off opinion pieces.
want to write your own? contact editor@salient.org.nz
to air your dirty laundry.

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