Fighting Mediocrity & Embracing Ambitions


(Courtesy of The Fordham Ram)


Considering I’m roughly halfway through freshman year, writing a reflection as my first From The Desk doesn’t seem fitting. After endlessly scrolling through the opinion section for ideas, I found that deeply pensive and thoughtful pieces are characteristically reserved for first-semester seniors. However, I want to use this space to reflect on my past. Admittedly, because I read online that reflective writing prepares a person for their later endeavors, I still have very little idea of what I’m doing with my life during and following Fordham. So maybe by the end of writing this, I’ll have a better sense of what I’m supposed to do for the foreseeable future.

By the end of high school, I realized I was remarkably unremarkable. I can’t say I’m terrible at anything, but I seem to have no standout trait, either. I was always more of a “participation award” type of person instead of a front-of-the-newspaper athlete or an academic prodigy, bouncing between various clubs, sports teams and jobs throughout my high school career. As a skier, cross-country runner, Model UN president and restaurant hostess, I’d say I was pretty decent. I think the problem lay with the fact that everyone around me seemed to have figured it all out, and I just couldn’t put my finger on any remarkable and rewardable ability — I somehow didn’t possess one. My new plan was to try any possible route until I had the breakthrough moment: the “this is it. This is what I need to do.” Although, waiting for a wake-up call definitely wasn’t my best move. By the time I was 16, my older brother had already spent an estimated quarter of his life watching movies and was applying for specialized colleges in the film industry. My best friend was — and is still — one of the best runners in Massachusetts and had her heart set on the Middlebury track and field team. Even my high school motto seemed to be mocking me: “Find your fire.” 

College application season soon loomed over the fall of my senior year, and I struggled to identify anything that would elevate my Common App essays. All I knew was that I needed to go to school in New York City, and after months of intensive research, I believed the core curriculum at Fordham would help me find my footing. The last thing I needed was to be more “well-rounded,” as Fordham’s website advertises, but I immediately fell in love with the school after several campus visits and knew it was the place for me.

Upon arriving at Fordham, I knew who I was and where I was going. I was on the pre-law track majoring in Humanitarian Studies, minoring in peace and justice studies and heavily considering the 3/3 program, in which I would have to transition to Fordham Law as a senior. Additionally, much to my academic advisor’s terror, I was taking six classes instead of the required five, writing articles for the Ram every week, working on a 10-page legal dissertation for the Law Review, coxing for the Division 1 Women’s Rowing Team, and leading the legal team at a non-profit organization in Manhattan. 

I constantly wonder how much my parents dread my weekly calls. Three weeks ago, I told them my life passion was to become a foreign correspondent for the New York Times, and I wanted to major in journalism. I spent at least two hours Googling “the best graduate programs for journalism” and “can I survive living in NYC on a journalism paycheck?” A week later, I denounced both and intended to double major in anthropology and political science. Last week, I took refuge in the Three Jewels at a Zen Buddhist temple on the Upper East Side and decided to minor in Religious Studies. At this point, no one in my family is surprised by my drastic, constant lifestyle changes. 

In all honesty, it was really cleansing to get this all out of my system. Who knows? Maybe you’ll see me on stage next week if I temporarily settle on a theatrical pursuit… that seems to be the only industry I haven’t tried yet. But if Fordham and all of my random endeavors have taught me anything so far, it’s to stop resisting mediocrity. Being adequate and equally decent at everything is now one of my favorite aspects about myself. Unfortunately, I’ve made the mistake of fighting that my whole life when I should have embraced my ability to drift in and out of everything I’ve done with ease. And don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere. If you want to be entertained, you can find me at the Ram production night in the McShane basement every Tuesday night — I’m sure that I’ll have some great new life ambitions to tell you about.