I always take my first step into the gates of the building looking down because, if politely put, the sight that awaits me is abysmal, typical and out of an American teenage show. Girls in crop tops with faces caked in makeup and boys sporting the under-cut like it’s obviously some notion of good looks. What I have learned from my experience with people is that most of them can be generalized and neatly categorized into cliques where at least eighty percent of their self-vaunted ‘qualities’ are mutual. College is a thin line between school uniforms and the noose of adulthood and albeit it is a time to experience and revel in the ‘you only live once’ phase, many such teenage kids tend to be misguided by that misused and irksome phrase. Of course you only live once! So why not spend your five years of college making foolish decisions that could possibly land you in a penitentiary and while away your time sinking into the abyss of superficiality?
As I walk further into the campus of the building, I notice several fests always in progress but never really moving forward, first year women in clinking heels on their way to class where they wish for everyone to notice their dressed arrival to a 7.30 am party. Of course they would like people to take notice, they woke up at an ungodly hour to hide their blemishes and make sure their ‘assets’ were conveniently popping out. Let’s not singularize this to women because that would be really unfair, men wear jeans hanging below their bums and t-shirts two sizes too small, hair carefully caressed with an entire tube of gel while they walk around talking on their iPhones 6 about their happening night life on a Thursday morning. Other sides, some are singing with a fake accent, dancing with a fake fervor, and acting with bland expressions. There is the emo white girl, the next Victoria’s Secret model, the jawline tragedies, and the Kylie Jenner lips. They each of course hold a Starbucks cup in their carefully manicured hands.
The more time I spent trying to get to know these people and not segregating myself into the lot (by lot, I mean more of a lone standing) of a judgmental twerp, the more I realize that sometimes it’s better to be in denial than explore the deepening fallacious reality of it all. Most have personalities that barely scratch the surface. Messed up priorities and even a messier idea of what their present is like as they spend a majority of their time inebriated in delusion. I’m not saying that most of them will land up working for McDonald’s so I’d like it if you’d just figure that bit by yourself.
It’s an innate drive that pushes people to try harder, work faster and aim for higher goals. It’s the unquenchable thirst to beat yourself and remain unbeaten by others. A thriving passion of needs coupled with determination for reaching nothing less than the highest pedestal that must push people to achieve their very best one milestone at a time. Amidst this race against yourself, it’s even more important to side-line the superficial and perceive the bigger picture. Hence, while the discussion about delving in deeper, looking beyond the surface and reaching the core is explained further, I realize that the people I don’t try to get to know will always be just that to me; superficial, desultory, and complacent. What this age lacks is the effort required to make something out of yourself, serve your purpose and pass the legacy. It’s not always about which brand you wear, where you live and how you burn your parents' money to ashes.
A simple want for seeing the world beyond cigarette smoke and whiffs of perfume.