NARP Meets World with Matt Yuen '19
Week 8: A Struggle
Stop reading for just a second, and take a look around you. If you’re on campus, you’ll notice books and papers laid out across any flat surface, trash bins filled to the brim with empty coffee cups and energy drinks as well as your favorite caffeine-crazed columnist rocking back and forth in the corner of the Stacks as he pumps out his weekly column. The scene may vary depending on who or from where you are looking, but we are all cracking under Hanlon’s fetishized academic rigor. It’s week 8, and things could not be any more grim.
Spirits are down. Tears are falling. And even the readership of this column has rapidly plummeted with the decreasing creativity and intelligibility of my content. Things have hit rock bottom here in Hanover. And as I sit on the floor, munching sunflower seeds and sipping on a Monster energy drink, I ask myself how my journey as a Dartmouth student could have peaked this early. After all, wasn’t my column supposed to have elevated me to a status above a mere NARP?
Alas, we are once again brought back to the timeless maxim by Jean-Paul Sartre: “Man is condemned to be NARP.”
And as I contemplate my pathetic NARPly existence in the midst of my incomplete biology lab report due right after tomorrow’s psychology midterm that I have not even started studying for, I cannot help but look fondly at the memories of this past week; memories that will inevitably serve as a beacon of hope in this dark time.
It all started Wednesday night, when my dream of becoming a singer finally came true. Adorned in the classic blazer, khakis and boat shoes combination, my Sig Phi Epsilon brothers and I were tasked with the mountainous challenge of serenading every single sorority on campus. And as we put on a brave face and drank from the goblet of no regrets, we proceeded to roll out onto the greatest adventure Webster Avenue would ever see.
We were only five minutes into our journey when we all realized that we may have perhaps drank too deeply from the goblet. My fellow comrades and I were stumbling all over the place, as our hype had caused many of us to develop cramps in our legs. Yet we persevered because we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Our mission did not change one bit from start to end. We were determined to provide quality entertainment to all ends of this campus.
And as we bounced from house to house, emboldened by the resonating cheers of Sister X, our adventure slowly simmered to an end, as nothing gold can stay. Even as we reached our war-torn basement, coming to the final destination of our journey that night, nothing about that experience ended with just that night. Capturing the hearts of our fellow classmates along the way was a noble but ephemeral perk, but the pride and glory of completing the arduous task remains eternal. For that night we all received a taste of fame and glory, a taste we would never forget. Everything about the night was cold and depressing, but even the sub 40-degree weather could not stop us from shining like stars.
But passing out on McLaughlin’s common room couch will do it.
And as I woke up the next morning still wearing a suit and tie, I quickly rolled off the couch and headed to Novack to buy a bagel. As I waited for my food, I looked at my phone only to realize that I had my weekly 8 a.m. breakfast with a good friend. Bagel in hand, I quickly ran over to Collis, proceeding to have a lovely breakfast with him. By 8:45 a.m., I was at a crossroads: go back to my room and sleep a bit more, or go to my 9 a.m. biology x-hour. I woke up two hours later only to realize my teacher takes attendance. RIP.
Four days later, I find myself with a serious case of déjà vu. It is a Sunday afternoon, and I am once again at a fork in the road. I can either diligently prepare for my psychology midterm or write my weekly column. Because I am a hard-working Dartmouth student, it is obvious which route I chose. I unhesitatingly chose to word-vomit 800 words of pure banter for your entertainment. What a time to be alive.
But things are different this time around. For the past two weeks, I have encountered enormous difficulty producing a quality article by the looming Sunday afternoon deadline. In fact, my articles were so absurd that even my editors, who are notorious for their lack of discretion about what is posted in this and previous columns, were questioning what the hell was going on in my column. Yet two weeks later, I can confidently say that things have changed with this article. Although many things in this column will be called into question by the nefarious editors, and there is no guarantee of quality for the content written in this piece, I can still beat my chest with a cheeky grin and say that this article will be submitted before the deadline.
NARP Meets World-1. Editors-3.