NARP Meets World: The End of NARP
Two weeks ago we saw one of the greatest returns ever experienced in sports history: like “Michael Jordan stepped out of retirement” great. If you haven’t guessed it by now, I’m talking about the spectacular return of NARP Meets World. But if you thought distance would make the hearts of my editors warmer, it is with a heavy heart that I inform you that is fake news.
One would have assumed that writing one of the most authentic, if not the most popular series this paper has ever seen would be enough to appease the ravenous demands of the wolves I call my editors. I mean, such a refined product could only be the result of the soul I put into this NARPly column. Yet time and time again, we see that the greed of King Midas can never be satisfied.
After a particularly long hiatus from the sports section, I finally decided to go to the sport’s section’s weekly story assignment meeting. I eagerly walked into the decrepit meeting room, expecting a warm greeting from two comrades I had not seen in a very long time — my sports editors. But true to the parable of the prodigal son, I quickly realized from their menacing snarls that these brothers were not looking forward to the lost son’s return.
The room was brimming to the top with hostility and passive aggressiveness, feeling almost like I walked into the lion’s den itself. I personally think that this is faulty logic, but apparently not showing up to any meetings this whole term and writing non-sports-related columns on a haphazard basis is considered rude in the eyes of my editors. Petty, am I right? Yet I couldn’t help but sympathize with them — after all, they are mere mortals.
To be honest, I should’ve expected this kind of reaction, for my absence had created a gaping hole in the very fabric that held the sport’s section together. A pillar itself had been removed from The Dartmouth. How many times must we be reminded that a table cannot stand without its legs? Yet I hoped with all my heart that perhaps, just this once, my editors would show mercy on my pathetic being. I thought that my last column, with its particularly excellent quality and jokes, would have been enough to atone for my sins. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
“So Matt, how about wrapping up the column this weekend?”
“Yeah sure … Wait, you mean for good?”
As my editors coldly stare into my soul, “Mhm.”
I now know what King Claudius must have felt as he was stabbed in the back by his own kindred.
Every single fiber in my body resisted. I tried counter arguments, appeals at pathos, peaceful protest. Alas, my efforts were in vain. These two sports editors finally did what the past editors could not: terminate this column. Like a chicken without its head, I mindlessly roamed the campus the next week with no particular aim or direction. We are all placed into this world for a reason, but with the termination of NARP Meets World, what’s left to tether me to this ethereal existence we call life?
In all seriousness, I will concede that the fate of this column is not (entirely) my editors’ fault. To be honest with you, it is because I will be taking orgo the next two terms, and I need to devote a bit of my soul to that class (surprise, I’m pre-med!). But as I wrap up this column, I would like to share some real thoughts that I’ve been mulling over while I still have a medium to do so.
If we take a look at the trajectory of this column, a few classic themes appear: stacks, rigor and grimness. Overall, each column article capitalizes extensively on this idea of struggling. While I am a bit of a hypocrite for taking advantage of this ubiquitous struggle, I’d like to say this mentality isn’t necessarily healthy.
I think there’s a bit of this false idea of success propagating throughout this campus: this idea that we have to always be busy in order to be a good student or that we also have to be working toward some goal to be a contributing member of society. We keep our eyes fixated at the finish line, but when will we take a moment to ask ourselves: “How am I doing?” Probably not often.
Instead, how many times have we said to ourselves, “If I just graduate,” or “If I just get an A in that class” or “If I just land that job,” everything will be all right? I’ll raise my hand to that one. If the idea is to do whatever it takes to reach the finish line then focus on ourselves, we’re never going to get there. The finish line keeps moving, further and further away, as we continue through our life journey.
The sobering reality of the human condition is that we’re inclined to always want more after reaching these short-term goals. They’re nothing more than mere baton passes in this lifelong race, and in no time we’re going to be focusing all our energy on getting to the next checkpoint.
I’m not telling you to abandon your goals or aspirations because dreaming is what keeps us moving forward. But at the same time, slow down the pace and take a moment to look at your surroundings. Spend time with your friends. Make that phone call to your parents you’ve been meaning to do all term. Ask that prof you’ve been meaning to get to know better to get lunch or coffee with you.
As a single tear rolls down the cheek of your favorite NARP, I conclude this column with a quote: “Nothing gold can stay.” Life’s too short not to enjoy it, so enjoy it.