“More garbage can, less garbage can’t”
Some people miss their childhood years. They miss the innocence, the carefree nature, the bitchin’ Legos.
I’ll admit I miss the Legos, but I’m so goddamn happy that I’m getting older. Not to say that crossing the 20-year-old mark is some threshold that grants instant maturity and wisdom, but I’m enjoying this ride far away from those days of yore that everyone’s so hyped up on.
When we were younger, we always felt this pressure to be amazing. Everyone had to be good, everyone had to do well, everyone had to be goddamn perfect. The only thing worse than being average was being apathetic — someone who just didn’t care.
I’d watch movies in which the cool kids smoked weed and bullied nerds and did whatever they wanted. But to fit into my school and my friend group, it was weird if you didn’t have extracurriculars, if you weren’t on the path to an Ivy League school, if you weren’t volunteering or interesting or passionate.
At this point in our lives, we have stopped pretending. It’s still not cool to bully, but in reality if you’re a weird kid who does something like show up to the library in a full marching band outfit on the top half of your body and a speedo on the bottom half, no one is going to give you any crap because no one really cares. We don’t have the energy. We just can’t bring ourselves to make fun of you. Maybe a snapchat, but that’s it. Do whatever you want. We’re all coping, somehow. ]
Today, we allow ourselves to be who we are. And it turns out that we’re all trash. Just garbage human beings. We all suck. We’re subpar, we’re mediocre and we’re totally okay with it.
I spent this past summer at home, doing what used to do: working 50 hours a week at an internship, reading every day on the train, walking my dog, smiling at my neighbors and doing laundry — being an active and involved citizen of my community. The second I got back to Davis, I cracked open a beer and sat down for a long day of nothing. Until school started, that’s exactly what I did. I woke up, went to the gym, got home, showered, ate and did absolutely nothing else. I sat around with my friends and we played video games. I drank in the middle of the day. I shot hoops and went out every night. I was such a piece of shit, but God, was I happy.
I contributed nothing of value to society. I breathed people’s air without giving anything back except stupid jokes and criticism of what I was eating — which usually was the product of someone else’s sweat and tears.
I was trash. Such trash. And I was proud of it.
That’s what I love about college. We can embrace our inner mediocrity. Sure, some people actually do stuff like edit newspapers or run charity events or do research. And kudos to them — they’re following their passions, willfully deciding that it’s something they want to spend their precious free time and limited energy on. There’s no parent to please, no hypothetical college admission officer to prove their worth to, no friend group to impress. They’re doing it for themselves.
As a wise meme once told me, just because you’re a trash person doesn’t mean you can’t do great things. It’s garbage can, not garbage cannot.
Written by: Yinon Raviv — firstname.lastname@example.org