Student Voice


April 25, 2024




Columnist dares students to do something different

February 14, 2008

The majority of people on this earth get annoyed once in a while. Generally, the people that usually don’t get annoyed do the annoying. If you’re one of those people who get annoyed, you know what it’s like to want to flee for your sanity.

You know—that girl in class who always asks a question right before class is let out? That guy who is always jumping around and yelling loudly to get all the attention he can? The girls eating lunch repeating “oh my god” and “like, no way” between eye-rolls and confessions of their current obsessions?

Some people resort to alcohol. It’s what they use to “get away” from everything.       

I’m not sure that I use alcohol as an escape—maybe more as an enhancement for various reasons ... like to better my cricket score.

So I began thinking about what my “escape” is. I guess when I need to get away I just get up and go.

But I can never really get away, because I’m still around me. You’re probably thinking, well no shit, but I’m asking you to think a little differently. 

Riddle me this: Do you ever get sick of yourself? I mean, you’re around yourself all the time. You probably know what you want to do, what you think. and, what your ideas are. You never have to question yourself because you know how you’ll respond. 

Thoughts are mulled over in your head; kind of like a conversation.

But do you have a tendency to keep following the same path and making the same choices? I mean, do you ever do something completely and absolutely inexplainably out of your ordinary? Something that really makes you pause for a moment and think man, I honestly cannot believe I did that.

But it’s not so much about just doing something; you’re choosing to do something (and some of you process your thoughts far too much to finally come upon your decisions).

You’re the way you are because you choose to be that way. 

How about you choose something else today? Answer a question like your boss would. Order an entrée that your sister likes a lot but you never really got into. While shopping, pick out the ugliest outfit and try it on. And then pose yourself in the mirror like that outfit was absolutely meant for you.

Do something different. Don’t wear your favorite shirt tomorrow (even though you haven’t worn it for a week).

Give yourself some versatility; a versatile individual will have more options in his or her future. You may understand someone better, or at least give them a chance. You’ll discover a new appreciation, and you’ll definitely find out something about yourself that you never would have otherwise. 

Depth is achieved through questions, not answers. How does a person expand once he or she has the answer? The sky is suddenly no longer there—you’ve already reached your limit.

So mull over the answer. Play with it a little bit. Or ... simply forget the answers.

There’s a lot of escapes out there. Some of you crank up some tunes and rock the hell out; take a variety of drugs and ponder life and all its entities while lying in a hammock ... or in winter’s joy, your bed; and some of you play with your lives by cliff jumping or bull riding or eating McDonald’s ... or shit, crossing Cascade Avenue.

My escape? People. Especially strangers. They don’t know you. There’s no relationship, but they’re interesting. You can learn a lot about strangers, talking to them or just observing. (Hmm ... he’s really loud and obnoxious. Am I loud and obnoxious? Maybe I am; I’d better quit. She’s quiet, but looks like she has something to say, but her friends keep cutting her off. Why won’t they let her speak? Why won’t she just raise her voice?)

I dare you to jump in a bush, tackle someone in water, wear pigtails because it’s unprofessional, get in a frosting fight, write a letter to your grandmother with your inferior hand, try mango tea, run away for a day, drive around the block backwards, realize that what you did was stupid, and laugh at yourself.

Do something different.
I dare you.

Abby Maliszewski is a student at UW-River Falls.