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Eight things Specs Should Know before Choosing Swat

in Op-Eds/Opinions by

For all its eccentricities, strengths, and flaws, I really love Swarthmore. It is a quirky, nerdy, beautiful place full of amazing people —some of whom I’ve met already, others whom I’m excited to one day meet. It’s true, Swat is not for everyone: it’s a combination of exquisite niches that will either make you absolutely fall in love with it or hate it. So, I talked a bit with some of my friends here at Swat and compiled a list of things we all wish we knew, or feel like Specs should know, before coming to Swarthmore.

It’s small size can be either one of its greatest strengths or greatest weaknesses. The college’s small size fosters an incredibly close-knit sense of community. Since everyone knows everyone, we all look out for each other, and we see each other everyday! However, this also means that you see all the people you’d rather not see everyday. Being a small campus also means that if you like to have things bustling 24/7, this is not the place for you. That’s not to say Swatties don’t make their own fun. From guitar circles to plays to Lang study breaks (free food!), there is usually always something to do on campus, even if it doesn’t seem like it most of the time.

It’s as much work as people say. It’s true that Swatties are huge nerds. Only a huge nerd would choose to go to a school with so much damn work. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the constant feeling of “it’s study time” for the majority of the day. However, if you really love the work you’re doing, then it’s usually worth it.

Swarthmore’s not perfect, but there’s a large space for activism. As liberal and forward-thinking as people make Swarthmore out to be, this place has some problematic aspects. However, these usually serve to show the resolve and persistence of activism among students on this campus as they stand up against the issues they have with the college and its administration.

Swarthmore will change you. You will discover things about yourself you never knew, some good some bad – some in between. This is an intense environment full of fascinating people. Don’t come expecting to leave the same person you came as.

This campus is on a hill— and you never get used to it.

You’ll sleep everywhere. When you’re only getting a solid 5 hours of sleep per night, you’ll make up for it in creative ways. Not only will you partake in the infamous McCabe nap, but you’ll find yourself falling asleep in an array of unique locations. I’ve probably fallen asleep in almost every academic building on campus (yes, that includes in and out of classes).

It’s not hard to make friends. Seriously, just go for it. Swatties may be notoriously awkward, but that’s part of what takes the pressure off. It’s super easy to grab a meal with someone you don’t really know well, so just ask! Swatties are interesting and friendly people so you shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to meet more of them.

It’s not as radical and weird as it used to be. The Swarthmore I heard of had orgies on Parish Beach and an annual Crunkfest (“A tradition that involved public nudity, hallucinogenic drugs, and public sex all taking place on Swarthmore’s campus” to quote a 2016 article in the Phoenix). However, as the administration has cracked down on various activities the craziness of Swarthmore’s past is less visible on campus. I have hope that with the collective effort of current Swatties and the incoming class of 2021, we can dare to make Swat wild again.

Instead of Calling, London Answers

in Campus Journal/London Calling by

“Why don’t boys ever ask me on dates?” — Blair Helena Strocht

Dear Blair,

The possibilities are endless. Maybe they don’t get you, or they’re intimidated by your looks and aesthetic, or maybe they haven’t been romantically socialized properly. If you feel like a change, there’s no harm in reinventing your look in a way you feel comfortable doing: everybody notices the effort that went into the fresh start of changing your hair, makeup, clothes, gait, accent, or name. If you dig it, maybe someone else will?

Honestly, the reason may well be that boys are dumb and often need a bit of help with these things. Have you considered trying to plant the idea in their head, in such a way they think they’ve come up with it? If you don’t think this boy even thinks of you romantically, you could find out what their ex-girlfriend used to wear, and put on a similar outfit on a day you knew you’d see him: visual association might drop a hint. To really get the full effect, imitate her laugh or vernacular, but that might be pushing it. Alternatively, if you think the boy already has a thing for you but just needs that extra push, become an agent of fate—play the role destiny would have had she been on your side. Create a fake AOL address and forward him (amongst other people, not to look suspicious) a mass email, urging those who read it to ask out the next person they see. Of course, you should sit across from him as he checks his email, which shouldn’t be a particular issue. For a more cinematic effect, get a friend to “accidentally” push you into the boy of your liking as he walks past, spilling hot tea over the both of you, and then dab off the steamy, fragrant liquid with the tissue you were clutching in your other hand for this purpose. If you stare into his eyes with enough intensity, he’ll probably offer to get you another beverage.

I understand this might be a lot of planning for an awkward couple hours sipping a coffee he’ll probably make you pay for anyways. It might be wisest in the end to count your blessings and enjoy the people who are already in your life, instead of waiting for more to show up.

“How can I stop intense emotions and a general fear of what the future holds from impeding my productivity? Should I try?” — Worried and Wistful in Willetts

Dear Worried and Wistful,

If you’ve ruled out upping your Klonopin dosage, I honestly don’t know whether there’s anything that will work for certain. Amidst your options, you could try and confront some of the situations causing intense emotion in order to find solace. If you’re in confusing territory with a partner, try to straighten things out and Define the Relationship™. If you have a big, fat ugly crush on someone, let yourself feel these emotions with some cathartic self indulgence—for me, that would be fantasizing about it with some chocolate, a bubble bath, and musical soundtracks. I tend to feel more clear headed afterwards. With regards to your future, taking concrete steps to organize and plan ahead the next few months to make it seem more concrete. Have you tried emailing a potential employer, or setting up a booty call for when you get back home?

Beyond this, you and your therapist are on your own. Emotions can suck, but at least they’re proof you’re alive. If you can, channel your lost productivity into a creative endeavor, like writing angsty poetry, jacking off on cam or making fun of yourself. Good luck!

“What do you do if the best sex of your life is off limits?” — Ice Princess

Dear Ice Princess,

This is a tough one. Assuming off limits is a hard category, I see a two-pronged course of action. On the one hand, you need to make sure that the option is still available when the situation reverses itself. Are they in a relationship, or maybe your best friend is in love with them? In the grand scheme of things, this is all temporary, and if the sex is that good you want to be an eligible bachelorette when circumstances change. This is a subtle process: smile warmly, but only when it’s right; touch their arm, but act surprised that you did it. You’re aiming for those fleeting moments of intimacy and tension that leave a lasting impression and keep you on their mind despite the circumstances. All of this, by the way, assumes that a direct method would be taboo: “Hey, I know things wouldn’t work right now but let me know if you wanna fuck when things change, ok?”

The other option to try in the meantime is recreating what made the sex so good with other partners, if possible. Did they give head like a god? Were they creative with their pacing? Did they hover inches from your face, lips ajar, for just the right amount of time? As much as you can’t fuck the person you like right now, you can ask your current partners to be more like them, under the guise of useful tips to get you off and healthy communication. Your last option is in your fantasies, so throw on a blindfold or just let your mind drift the next time you get laid. I personally think there’s something extremely glamorous to screaming out the wrong name during orgasm (as long as you aren’t with someone you’re particularly emotionally committed to), so I’d do it just for that.

I know none of this is perfect, but if the sex you’re missing really is that great, I don’t know what will be. :/

“It is morally dubious to sleep with a guy 85% because I admire his kayaking prowess?” — Class V Bitch

Dear Class V Bitch,

You’re asking whether it’s reprehensible to chose a sexual partner based on his display of upper body finesse as he maneuvers down a rapid using a glorified long, rigid rod? If he can work that paddle who knows what else he can do. Go for it.

An Expert’s Guide to Eating Alone in Sharples

in Campus Journal by

There’s a magical hour every day when Sharples is almost empty, but still serving food. During this time, a small group of upperclassmen appears, each individually laying claim to a coveted date or circle table. They know each other, but they only rarely say hi. They choose their side of the table carefully so that they don’t have to look at each other as they dissect their grapefruits. This strange act is called “eating alone” — and it’s wonderful.

The beauty of being alone in Sharples is, of course, that you’re not actually alone. There are people to watch or greet if you’re so inclined, and the comforts of coffee and tea are readily available. The bright, open space is a welcome venue for reflection and daydreaming, compared to the bleak, often anxiety-inducing dorm room setting. With a little low-key music in your headphones, would-be wallowing is transformed into a mix of melancholy and bemusement. Also, sometimes you get to see somebody trip or drop something.

 

But if you’re an underclassman — especially a first-semester freshman — heading to the dining hall can be intimidating. Sure, you’d love to have the confidence to just sit down somewhere and stare off into space emotionlessly as hundreds of your peers look on. But for those of you who aren’t quite there yet, it’s okay: we broke down how to handle it when you don’t have (or want) any friends. Trust us: stepping up to the challenge will be way better than that Clif Bar you bought in Sci Commons yesterday.

The trick to eating alone without feeling like a loser or being approached by well-meaning classmates is often the timing. The subtle influx of students, determined by class and team schedules, creates a regular flow. To get the most out of your alone-time, you should plan accordingly.

 

Best Quiet Times

Perks / Warnings

Breakfast

after the early birds leave for 8:30 class until the lunch rush at 11:20

Perks: Sunshine through windows, grapefruits and melon, sometimes donuts

Warnings: no hot food until 10:30

Lunch

the tail end of breakfast, or after about 1:15

Warnings: People are most likely to try to come talk to you during this window

Dinner

grandma-style at 4:30, or between 6:45 and 7:15, before the in-season athletes arrive

Perks: Get there early for your best chance of snagging a booth.

Warnings: You may have to sit uncomfortably close to other people.

 

Once you’ve selected your time frame, it’s time to choose your seat. For fans of the Big Room, the most coveted spots are the sunlit date tables or the circle tables, which offer optimal people watching as fellow students come in and out of the dining hall. In the side rooms, the booths offer the most privacy.

Another crucial factor here is making sure you’re not awkwardly face to face with someone at another table. Take, for instance, our breakfast seniors: they all sit on the same side at their date tables, facing the same direction. That way, there’s no risk that they’ll have to spend a potentially hours-long Sharples session trying not to make eye contact with someone as they bite into their bagel.

The final step? Take out some fake work. If your reason for eating alone is because you couldn’t manage to find someone to eat with, taking out work will help you avoid any unwanted attention for flying solo. If you’re one of the confident few who actually wants to be left alone, an open book almost always gets across the hint. Don’t worry, though — you don’t actually have to read it.

 

Advice for freshmen, from Swatties who learned it the hard way

in Campus Journal by

Your first year at college is a time for learning. And while you all, like me, have somehow weaseled your way into one of the most academically intense colleges in the country, I found that the majority of my learning last year happened outside of the classroom. Your freshman year at Swarthmore College will open you up to a whole slew of new experiences, both good and bad, and I hope that you will in some way learn from all of them. However, there were a few times in the last year that my fellow freshmen and I had to learn things that would have been helpful to know, right off the bat. With that being said, here is my compiled list of Advice for Freshmyn, from Swatties Who Learned it the Hard Way.

 1.     Sometimes, hallcest can actually work out.

2.     If you’re a NARP and you go to the gym any time between three p.m. and dinner, be prepared to share the few machines with many varsity athletes who can all run really fast and pick up heavy things.

3.     Sometimes the frats/Olde Club can get a little crowded. If people are invading your personal space, don’t be shy! Plant those feet and push them away.

4.     Speaking of frats, if you get bored at DU there is a room with a big couch on the side and an entire shelf of old yearbooks. A great way to pass the time while your friend gets hot and heavy on the dance floor is grabbing one at random, then guessing which of the old white guys in the book A) are on the Board of Managers, B) stopped giving money when Swarthmore got rid of its football team, or C) are even alive anymore.

5.     Make sure to assert your dominance over your roommate(s), so they don’t carry you outside and lock you out in the snow in only your underwear.

6.     Don’t leave your mouse traps set over vacations, unless you want your entire room and all of your clothing to smell like a dead mouse for the rest of the semester.

7.     If you want food from Paces and are trying to estimate how long it will take, follow this formula: think of how long it would take a restaurant or other reasonable institution to prepare your meal, then add two hours.

8.     If you ate microwave popcorn for breakfast, don’t also eat it for lunch. If you have eaten microwave popcorn for breakfast and again for lunch, definitely don’t eat it for dinner. Same goes for pop tarts and ramen.

9.     Did you wake up to your roommate having sex? Do not pretend to be sleeping. Avoiding confrontation might seem like a good short-term plan, but you will most definitely regret it when you wake up the following weekend to even louder moaning from a roommate who thinks you will sleep through it.

10. When masturbating, lock your door during, and unlock it right after. If you come home and your door is locked but your roommate is there, you know what is happening.

11. Beware of swooping, but also thank the gods of interrupted romance if you end up going home with somebody who has a single.

12. If you only hook up with one person for the entire first semester, just know that Swarthmore law dictates that they will be in your 8-person seminar in the spring.

13. If you find yourself about to lose your virginity in your best friend’s roommate’s bed, be sure to put a towel down, and double check that you didn’t leave your underwear.

14. The Sharples “two pieces of fruit” rule was made to be broken. Hoard that shit.

 

Seize the decade, not just the day

in Columns/If It Moves/Opinions by

Zac Arestad’s column last week plainly and jarringly posed a question that we, lucky enough to have a place in this gilded institution, have likely grappled with in one form or another: “Am I worth it?” Sure, we are some of the most hard working, talented scholars in the country, but with roughly half a million dollars invested in each of our educations, an immediate and certain “yes” is hard to conjure.

As many of us stand at or just past the gateway to our twenties, this question, I am sure, can be particularly raw. It stands directly against the growing “thirties are the new twenties” zeitgeist, in a time of our lives when thinking about the present comes easiest.

Dr. Meg Jay, a clinical psychologist from the University of Virginia, offers some much-needed advice regarding this challenging period in her book, “The Defining Decade”. Her counsel, however, is perhaps not the one we were hoping for. That said, my column this week, in a slight change of pace, is less a response to her findings and more an extension of the seemingly countless and ongoing conversations I have had with friends and family regarding the years to come.

Despite the numerous chapters in Jay’s book that seem exclusively tailored to twentysomethings of upper-middle class origin who use monetary compensation, heterosexual romance and procreation as barometers for success, her underlying message is one that I have come to agree with over my undergraduate years: the coming decade will likely be the most defining and transformative one of our lives and so warrants appropriate attention.

Though most of us probably won’t define our self-worth with a checklist of goals, the reality remains that the vast majority will both need and aspire to a healthy and fulfilling career, social and personal life. In that context, some of Jay’s findings can be particularly sobering: “80 percent of life’s most defining moments take place by about age 35. Two-thirds of lifetime wage growth happens during the first ten years of a career. More than half of Americans are married or are dating or living with their future partner by age 30. Personality can change more during our 20s than at any other decade in life… [and the] brain caps off its last major growth spurt.”

For me, the most important takeaway here, though perhaps both counterintuitive and not plainly implied, is that the voices that encourage us to spend time “finding ourselves” and accumulating as many experiences possible may in fact be steering us in the wrong direction. Contemporary psychological studies that attempt to re-evaluate the human source of happiness have, I believe, turned standard wisdom on its head.

Though it might be a hard pill to swallow, the research Dr. Jay cites convincingly overturns views that have become near hardwired in most twentysomethings’ brains. Keeping options open may in fact be closing doors, the people who care most about you might in fact be significant impediments to professional and personal growth and adult responsibilities likely lead to happiness and not stress.

Though many of Jay’s arguments are compelling, the book also contains an unwelcome dose of stereotyping, an inexcusably normative definition of happiness and assertions that are wildly out of touch with economic reality. But between the condescension and vague platitudes, there just might be enough to spur a little healthy introspection. My goal for this column is not to author a self-help article, but only to encourage a reconsideration of convention and popular culture surrounding this coming part of our lives.

Rough sex, hitting the elusive three and sex tapes

in Campus Journal/Columns/London Calling by

dontusethis!!

Why don’t boys like me? — LonelyGirl95

Dearest LonelyGirl95,

Are you really certain that’s the case? Love is a battlefield and sometimes words can’t communicate the horrors of war effectively. A radical approach to this would be to redefine your weapons of battle. Your armory doesn’t need to limit itself to these incisive questions you seem to be asking yourself so far — maybe what you need is an active plan of action. Instead of firing these queries at your friends and loved ones, you should be out there — on the battlefield — fighting for your autonomy and romantico-sexual satisfaction. You should empower yourself to win not just the battle, but the war, and for that you should charge head on into the dating minefield and conquer victory through active force.

How do I meet queer people at Swarthmore? — NotSoRadQueer101

Hey NotSoRadQueer101,

An obvious place to start with this would be to try and join queer life at Swarthmore (the Swarthmore Queer Union pops to mind), and chat to the people you meet there. A lot of queer groups on campus are closed, which means you’d only be around other queers. This in itself can be a bit daunting, but worry not! I’ve found they only bite when asked to. It may be a possibility that queer life isn’t for you, which is perfectly acceptable, and in that case you’ll have to find less traditional gathering spots. Some sports teams happen to gather the queer crowd (by which I mean, the women’s rugby team is gay as fuck) and you’re bound to meet a few in any given GenSex class. Beyond all this however, try and remember that queers are — gay gasp — kind of normal, and that there is no focal point that would work for everyone. If you’re struggling to meet queer people, maybe you’re not the kind of individual who would enjoy spaces oriented around them. For all you know, that friendly guy with the preppy checkered shirts from your psych class has been eyeing you all along.

How do I tell my partner I like it rough? — GagaQuoter94

Dear GagaQuoter94,

Sometimes, a fourth magic word makes the whole endeavour so much more difficult. After all, several things could go wrong if your partner happens to embody the imperial prude or is prematurely turning into one of my parents (read: frigid). Fortunately for all of us, that is rarely the case, and it should be a tenet of your healthy relationship that communication is free and open. If your partner doesn’t push the right buttons in the bedroom, it’s likely you’ll experience frustration and disappointment with the relationship as a whole — a bad situation in the long term for all parties involved. I would recommend realizing that telling your partner about your preference is the only way to progress in your relationship. Then, sit them down over coffee and lay it down calmly and with detail. They might even get a bit turned on.

What are the pros and cons of making a sex tape? — AspiringAmateur69

Howdy AspiringAmateur69,

This is definitely a decision that requires both sides of the argument being weighed out. If you’re a fan of an ironic trash aesthetic, joining the ranks of Kim Kardashian, Pamela Anderson and Paris Hilton is an illustrious honor indeed. In a way, it’s an expression of pride and bodily confidence, albeit a conceited one. Celebrating your sexual prowess in such a documented fashion also provides you with ample material to analyze your performance and give yourself constructive feedback. However, you need to consider your desired audience — chances are that seven years down the line when your publishing career starts taking off, those murky shots taken in a Mertz dingle might resurface to an undesired effect. Your boss might not be impressed with the feat, or maybe more dauntingly a bit too impressed. It would really come down to whether you trust your partner enough to save that file somewhere private, albeit close to heart.

How do I suggest a threesome to my girlfriend? — BoredButLoving77

Dear BoredButLoving77,

I can empathize completely with the desire to diversify your sexual outlets within a committed relationship. Sometimes, no piece of silicone can match the thrill that a new individual would bring into the erotic mix. I’d recommend avoiding language that’s too accusatory, such as the words “bored” or “frustrated,” to describe yourself, and instead focus on the shared thrill such an experience could add to your dynamic. You really want to channel your inner salesperson and convince your partner that they’ve actually been craving this all along. Of course, stay within the realms of suggestion — in no way should you coerce your partner into any sexual activity they aren’t comfortable with, regardless of your prior experiences.

Dear Nehmat: Advice to International Students

in Around Campus/Campus Journal by

Dear international freshmen,

I know that you have been assaulted with information and advice in the last week or so, and your brains are not processing much anymore. So while you wrap your head around the new-ness of it all, let me do my bit and add to this mess of information and advice.

When I was applying to colleges as a senior in high school, I spent all my time thinking about how to get into a college of my choice, and very little time on what living at college would be like. Looking back, here are the things I wish I’d known when I was an international freshman last year.

Every time you meet a new person, they will want to know all about where you’re from and talk about the two or three issues that they associate with your country. You will become a spokesperson for your country. After a year here, I have a well-prepared and well-honed speech about the caste system and male privilege in India. And I’m thinking about adding a little rant against the declining Rupee.

If you’re like me and embody the social equivalent of a silent coat rack, then being an international student solves the problem of Making Small Talk. If you actually like meeting new people, then this is a great way to draw others into conversation. Either way, answering the same questions gets old quickly, and you may start to feel as if people are only interested in where you’re from and not you as an individual. Accept that some people may never progress beyond asking about your country rather than you, but others will take the time to be interested in you as a person and they will be the most wonderful friends ever.

Learn to cook the food of your people, even if you don’t plan to cook for yourself at Swat. You will eventually end up in a situation where someone (friend’s family or employer for the summer, or both in my case) asks you to cook for them and you find yourself saying, “Absolutely!” when you really should have said, “I don’t really know how to cook.” Avoid the harrowing process of frantically Skype-ing your mother and deciphering recipes on the Internet, while praying that it works out and learn the next time you’re home. Alternately, you could improvise and hope that the people you’re serving don’t know much about your cuisine.

This informal representation of your country can also turn into a troublesome experience if something newsworthy (good or bad) happens back home and suddenly everyone wants to ask you for your take on such events. Anushka Mehta ’15, from Cairo, has written about her experience answering questions about Egypt, even though she wasn’t present for the revolution. It can be challenging to navigate not actually being present for the events back home but still having to answer questions about them. Things like these can also lead to the sudden realization of just how far away you are from home.

This brings us to homesickness. In the words of i20 President, Stephanie Kestelman ’16, “It is okay to be homesick.” Homesickness doesn’t just have to be about missing your family or cuisine, though I dream about a perfect cup of “chai” when I’m stressed out. It can mean missing speaking in multiple languages at once, the sounds of chaotic city life, or music from back home. I listen to more Bollywood now than I ever did when I was in India.  Homesickness can also be struggling with your changing identity at college and craving the familiarity that defined ‘home’ for you. At times like these, find a friend and talk about it, Skype the fam, hug people. Drink chai. Don’t call it “chai tea”.

Speaking of changing identity, one of the most important changes in my life has been incorporating “race” into my identity. Growing up in an environment where everyone was varying shades of brown, and in a comfortably wealthy home, I never really stopped to think about how the color of my skin could impact my life, and had never had my privilege challenged. But the occasional discomfort of going through security checks at airports, encountering racial stereotyping in social situations and sometimes being the only colored person in a room has brought home the existence of race. Conversely, sometimes people I meet will assume I have experienced life as a minority, but the truth is that my race had little influence in my life growing up, and I have no right to speak as a member of a minority group.

Your big discovery may not be the same as mine, but prepare to have your ideas of the world challenged. It may be recognizing the differences between what “poverty” means in your country and what it means in America, it may be about discovering the role of gender in your life back home and here, or it may be something entirely different. But work through the changes, talk to different people about their experiences, and recognize that it can take time to settle into a new place.

This is my little addition to all the information you already have. It can be thrilling as well as disconcerting to be in an entirely new place and it is perfectly alright to feel a little lost. And if you’ve already survived all the paperwork involved in International Orientation, you’re good to go.

Stay Gold: Advice from David Toland

in Campus Journal/Columns by

Respect your elders. Learn from the people who have walked the path before you. Respect those people because sooner than you can imagine you are going to be old as well. We are all moving in different directions in life. I am sure many of you  know the meaning of “Stay Gold.” For those of you that are not familiar, this means when you are a child, everything is new. I believe that we should always stay that way. There will be good times and bad times ahead for all of us. I would like to give you some of advice about what to do when times get difficult. Many times I have heard people say, “Bad things, they will not happen to me.”  I have said it myself, and let me tell you somewhere along the way it will happen to you.

Many of you will get married and some of you will get divorced. It is a tough thing to go through, but there is no reason to be hateful. Sometimes relationships just do not work out; there is no need to point the finger at each other. You can still be friends even if your marriage did not work. Along this journey of life many of you will have kids, and for those of you that have read my previous articles you know my kids are my life. My advice on children is simple. Children should not have to sacrifice so that you can have the life you want. You make sacrifices so your children can have the life that they deserve.

Let me tell you that money is not everything and if you think it is, you are going down the wrong path. I have friends that are always talking about making over 100,000 dollars a year, and are constantly telling me they can get me a job making the same money. They looked at me like I was crazy when I said, “No thanks, I can’t work the schedule they need me to work.”  It does not matter what the salary is, my kids are involved in many after school activities and I do not want to miss any of it. I believe that you cannot put a price tag on the time you spend with your children. That is where “Stay Gold” comes into play, because everything your kids do is something new.

For the people thinking about heading into the military, you will have some of the best and the worst times in your life. My advice is pretty simple. We are all scared. You hide in that ditch because you think there is still hope, but the only hope you have is to accept the fact that you are already dead. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you will be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function – without mercy, without compassion, without remorse.  For all the people heading out into the business world, here is some of my advice to you. Never give up your dreams and goals in life. A degree from Swarthmore is the best money can buy, but sometimes in the business world or “the real world,” politics play a big part in being successful. You could be the best person for the job, but the truth is sometimes it is who you know, not what you know. I always quote the line from the movie, The Bronx Tale, “That I was getting two educations, one from the street and one from school. That way, I’d be twice as smart as everybody.”

The world is not all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and I do not care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. Nobody or nothing is going to hit you as hard as life. But it is not about how hard you hit, it is about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. It is about how much you can take, and keep moving forward. That is how winning is done. Now, if you know what you are worth, then go out and get what you are worth. But you have to be willing to take the hits, and not point fingers and blame other people. Remember life is a journey not a destination so…Stay Gold.

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