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There is an ancient Sufi poem that goes,“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”
How long does it take to break a bad habit? According to the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes 66 days for the mind and body to accustom to meaningful, lasting change. Sixty-six days?! That’s an entire term at school here. We didn’t shoot out the womb addicted to our cell phones or playing pong. So what gives?
This isn’t another article about the Dartmouth “duck syndrome” trope that’s been discussed half to death. We get it! Kids here want to put up a good front. The best front. They want the Goldman Sachs job, the place at a top med school, the hot significant other who will become their alum trophy spouse to have supergenius, Dartmouth-green-clad babies with.