minute thoughts 4.27.16

Thoughts while ruminating on life, death, and consequences

1. Celebrities shouldn't endorse political candidates. It's pretty wrong, if you think about it. Fans will vote not out of respect for the candidate or an agreement of policy or best fit, but simply out of relation to or trust of that celebrity. The president is someone who will run our country (and here's why that's important), and it's not smart or right to use your influence to manipulate a system that determines something so large-scale.

2. In that vein, it's actually amazing how little things can have such a massive effect. I'm reading Freakonomics right now (yes, I'm 11 years late to the party), and it's one of the most fascinating things I've ever read. It's basically an economist's perspective of the Butterfly Effect—it examines all of these tiny idiosyncrasies or discrepancies that create a chain of events and end up having a huge impact. For example, the introductory chapter talks about a drastic drop in the crime rate in the 1990s. While it was originally attributed to gun control, the authors speculate that it was actually due to something else: Roe vs. Wade, the landmark abortion case almost three decades earlier. They found that because of abortion being legalized, babies being born into adverse home situations (poor, single mother-households) and would statistically fit the typical profile for juvenile crime offenders simply weren't being born. How crazy is that?! Everything you do has consequences. I feel like if we were more aware of them, we would be a lot more careful about what we say and do.

3. Why do supervillains in movies always want to take over the world? I feel like getting everything you want would be fun for a short time, but the responsibility would catch up with you. It sounds like a whole lot of work, and if I were a supervillain, I don't think I'd want it.

4. It was one of my best friends' birthdays the other day, someone who I literally consider a sibling and have grown up alongside. I don't talk with him as much as I should, but he's someone I know I want to keep in my life as long as possible. I was talking to a friend of mine here, and we were discussing the dynamics of college friendships vs. childhood friendships. We agreed that friends made in college are a lot more high-maintenance; you tend to have to see them often in order to stay on their radars, and they're often based on more superficial things. For the most part, the people I've known since I was little, the ones who have seen me grow and change and still aren't tired of me yet (surprisingly), who have taken the time to get to know and understand me in a deeply personal way, are the people whose time and opinions of me I really value.

5. I absolutely hate the saying "if it's meant to be, it's meant to be." Like what kind of lazy philosophy is that. If you want something, you make it happen. And yet. I often forget that there are other factors in the equation beyond my control, and that it is equally important to be adaptable.

6. It occurs to me that high school sex education and substance education in this country still leave a lot to be desired. After coming to college and feeling a little shocked by the casual attitude toward drug use, it makes sense that schools, rather than preaching "say no to drugs" and using worst-case scenarios as scare tactics, should warn kids of the dangers and repercussions of drug use, but also teach them safe usage. We were never given information about "appropriate" drinking until college, information that would have been useful prior to coming to college. I think, like how better sex education reduces teen pregnancy rates, that good substance education would reduce the number of drug-related deaths in universities.

7. I've noticed that I often think in the form of writing. Short, lovely little ornamented fragments that seem to stand out in my mind, in italics. I don't know if it comes from being an English major, or if it's just plain dramatic, but sometimes I can practically see my thoughts forming, and I have this compulsion to write them down immediately before the words slip away.

8. Much-needed and very important.

9. Coming to college has made me think a lot about the kind of person I am, and pay very close attention to the people around me. But I've concluded that I'm mostly introverted. I used always considered myself an extrovert, because I've always been fairly outspoken and outgoing. But I realized I identify with mostly introverted qualities. It's not that I'm shy or that I dislike most people, it's that I just prefer being straightforward and having a certain amount of time to myself. And because introversion/extroversion is more of a spectrum than a binary, I've met a lot of people in college that identify with these things too. It's interesting to see what people identify as, and to study how their minds and personalities work.

10. With only 44 days left of college to go, I realize how many things I still have yet to finish in Santa Barbara. Will be making a UCSB bucket list soon :').