By Ariane Lange
My spam e-mail and a slim letter I recently received from the college of my choice have something in common. Both seem to suggest that thereâs something inadequate about me.
I get a lot of spam, so someone suggests that Iâm inadequate on average 17 times a day. It seems strange to relate, but getting all that spam has taught me a lot. At first the subject lines made me insecure. I would wonder, Is there something wrong with me? Eventually, however, the spam made me stronger. I donât mean to sound cocky, but Iâve come to the conclusion that anyone who thinks my love stick is too small just doesnât know me that well.
Why am I writing about college rejection and spam in space thatâs supposed to be about my entire high school career? The rejection is part of a greater lesson that this school has taught me. Yes, âThey can because they think they canâ is a fine motto, but it doesnât tell the whole story. The most valuable thing Iâve learned in my time here is that some things are absolutely out of my control, and even if I think I can change things, often I canât. To steal a turn of phrase popular with my Latin teacher, Paul Chenier, we live in âan inscrutable cosmos,â and often things are completely out of our hands.
Spending four years alongside the best and the brightest has been a humbling experience. You figure out that youâre not the best at everything. Itâs a bitter pill to swallow, especially in high school when weâre all supposed to be so self-involved, but itâs true. None of us is the best at everything.
Once youâve come to that realization, you can despair that there will always be someone in the room whoâs smarter than you are (one of my best friends is the valedictorian, so I actually came to that realization really quickly). Or you can be electrified by their brilliance.
The spam e-mail is lying: you are who you are, and there really isnât much you can do to change it, not even if you open the attachment or reply with your social security number.
For my part, I think high school has been trying and wonderful and exciting and enlightening. Witness another thing Iâve learned in my time here: I can write 419 words about my life and tie it in to penis enlargement. And thatâs a skill Iâll carry with me for the rest of my life.