Thursday, November 14, 2013

Through The Wringer

Enclosed is a link to my most recent piece in The Fulcrum — after the link, is the original piece as intended. Please more or less ignore the bastardized version on The Fulcrum.


Original Piece:

It’s always the same story: you’ll study later, you’ll draft your outline tomorrow, you’ll do your readings in the morning. Before you know it, you’re staring your deadline in the face, and all that can go through your mind is, I did this to myself.

I would like the reader to examine the notion that things are not quite so simple. The current academic system we have in place is engineered in a fashion that subjects students to massive episodes of anxiety and depression. Courses are structured for maximum efficiency — efficiency here meaning cramming. With a finite amount of time and a nigh-infinite amount of material to cover, professors are compelled to overlap our midterms, papers, and exams in quick succession, and because we are cognizant of these hell-weeks, anxiety is a single thought away. Procrastination forces us into seclusion, desperately force-feeding our brains with as much food-for-thought as they can hold. (I here have visions of the making of foie gras.) In this self-induced solitary confinement, underlying conditions such as depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and anxiety are exacerbated; as someone who has spent his entire life combatting severe anxiety issues, I can personally testify to the detrimental effect university has on mental health.

We have been deceived into entering a system where the natural byproduct is mental distress. No one told you that your diploma came with a slew of mental illnesses — that was something you found out along the way. We have been forced into an arena where we are compelled to combat our demons, and our teachers stand on the sidelines, too complacent to change the system and the endless reruns of failure, suffering, and even death — these are the qualities of the contract we have entered into with our scholastic Leviathan.

Hung over for my photo in true rockstar fashion.