Ponder This: Too Late for Beginnings?
For those avid LDC Soundsystem listeners out there, I'm sure you are familiar with their masterpiece “Someone Great.” But for the large majority of people that have no idea what I'm talking about, this week's column was inspired by one little lyric from that song-- “Too late, for beginnings.” Yes, this is a somewhat simple line, and no, it is not necessarily packed with beautiful language. But, for some reason, this simple little sentence fragment sparked a philosophical train of thought in my head. I began thinking about it--too late for beginnings. Honestly, so much meaning crammed into four words. Let's just think about this for a moment. Here we all are, back at campus again after a six week refreshing break. For the seniors, the end of Fall Term 2008 and start of Winter Term 2009 means the beginning of an end to their lives at Carleton. There's still plenty of time left to enjoy and tons of work to be done, but it is certainly a turning point. For the freshman, it is the beginning of a new term with less stress and confusion and a little experience under our belts. From meeting the random person we were assigned to share our rooms with to experiencing the joy of the Carleton work load, and from making new friends (and possibly some enemies) to learning how to be responsible for ourselves, we have all grown and changed in many ways. And for everyone at this school, despite your academic year/age, the end of one term and the start of another means a chance to regroup and reflect upon what went down-- new romantic interests, the end of a once romantic interest, new friendships, the strengthening of old friendships, new housing assignments, new sports seasons, new food, etc. We have all accomplished a lot during this time, whether or not we realize it. Simply getting through a Carleton term and then returning for another one is not something many people can say they are capable of doing, nonetheless making new friends and joining new activities (and much more). So what does all this babbling on have to do with LDC Soundsystem and their (what I consider to be) amazing little sentence fragment? It has to do with the question of whether or not it really is too late for beginnings. Sure, we've all established ourselves into certain friendship circles and attempted to make evident the type of person we want to be perceived as. Some of us have had flings, some of us have hooked ourselves up to a significant other, and some of us have not even considered any romantic prospects. Some of us have played on sports teams and done well, some of us have played poorly, some of us haven't seen a second of court time, and some of us don't play any sports at all. Some of us have tried out for certain groups and activities and been accepted, and some of us shut down. But just because all of these things, good and bad, have happened, just because things have taken a certain course of action, does that mean everything is set in stone? Of course not. Do not fret. It seems to me that winter break is perfectly timed, and, although very long, it is the perfect amount of time away from campus. Over the course of the break, we all had the opportunity to relax and get our lives together a little bit, to take care of some things that we may not have had time to do here. Just because some things may not have turned out exactly how we wanted them to, or even if every single thing went perfectly, that time away has allowed us all to assess our new situations a little. We have missed those we care about, and got time away from people we could care less about. In short, I am trying to convey the point that yes, it is too late for beginnings. LDC Soundsystem could not have been more correct in saying this. But, the fact that it is too late for beginnings does not mean we should be discouraged about the things that didn't go the way we wanted. Time away from campus gave us all the chance to come back refreshed and with the confidence we need to change the things we weren't happy with. Perhaps this seems kind of obvious to some of you, and the reading of this column was completely pointless in your opinion. But, at the very least, you might be inspired to listen to a great song! So, to you readers, I hope you enjoyed your break, and, if you find the time, feel free to ponder this column's message.