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Learning to expect the unexpected

September 9th, 2010

What’s the only thing about a Thursday that JCU looks forward to more than a new episode of “The Jersey Shore”? The award-winning Carroll News.

Some people might try to debate that fact, but their opinion doesn’t matter.

I had a moment of doubt this summer where I wasn’t sure if I’d continue to be a part of The CN. Then I saw a commercial for the series finale of MTV’s “The Hills” and knew my generation couldn’t handle being abandoned twice in a matter of months, so I’m still here.

I know you’re excited for the final year of what See says, but don’t expect much. You see, I’ve got this bad case of senioritis. I was first diagnosed about seven years ago. They told me it would take its toll on me, and I can testify that it most definitely did. My grades suffered, and my work ethic, in general, got worse. Lately I’ve been feeling much better, though. I’m in the best shape of my life and coming off my highest GPA since high school. Have I beaten senioritis? No, I’m just on the right meds.

I’m kidding. I’m not on any meds, I just know how to discern whether I should give a crap about something. It’s amazing how much easier things become when you stop worrying about them. If I stressed about grades, then when I got them back I’d probably be disappointed. Since I don’t set any academic expectations for myself, though, I’m never let down. I either do better than I “expected” (a pleasant surprise) or I fail (oh well).

That’s a bad example, because grades kind of matter. Sometimes. Not usually, and definitely not when you’re 65 years old and looking back on your college experience. But sometimes. I guess.

A better example would be something along the lines of homecoming. Say you had a great time at last year’s dance, but then this year’s ends up being lackluster in comparison because you expected it to be as good or better (the pressure’s on you now SUPB). Now you’re malcontent, and that’s no good. Wouldn’t it be better to go into homecoming with no expectations and walk away from it focusing on the parts you found enjoyable?

You don’t need to look any further than former Shaker Heights resident Kid Cudi to find the answer. “I’m on the pursuit of happiness and I know, everything that shine ain’t always gonna be gold,” he sings on the aptly-titled “Pursuit of Happiness.” That’s one of the best lyrics of the past year, and I’m not a pothead so I don’t even listen to Cudi like that.

The higher the expectations you have for something, the more likely you are to be disappointed.

I’d like to say that I’ve defeated the dastardly dragon known as disappointment, but I haven’t, I just used a lot of alliteration. It’s not events or places that let me down, it’s people. I expect a lot out of others, and I’m not sure why. It might be that I think everyone should be able to live up to the expectations I have for myself, but much like my grades in microeconomics back in 2007 (yeah, I’m that old), the percentage isn’t that high.

I know this isn’t exactly rocket science, but we all need a reminder every now and then that the glass isn’t half empty. It might not be half full either, but you should just be happy there’s any liquid in there at all.

Dehydration is a serious threat.