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Sophomore year = Mario Kart

December 19, 2012

Mario Kart: it’s a video game of racing, intense competition and skill. During breaks from studying last week, my friends and I relieved stress by breaking out the Wii and putting our kart-driving skills to the test. First round, my kart probably fell off of the Rainbow Road course about a dozen times, only to pick itself up again and fall straight off.

Now, I don’t want to claim to be an expert on anything (especially not Mario Kart), but after some contemplation, I’ve decided… drumroll please… sophomore year is a lot like Mario Kart.

For many people I know, myself included, this semester had its cliché ups and downs. My array of blog posts from the semester proves that, with emotions ranging from confused to overexcitement about life.

Sophomore year started as and continues to be quite the adjustment. It’s like… racing a Mario Kart course for the first time. You don’t know where the twists and turns are, and before you know it, Luigi ends up in last place and is shouting, “Mamma mia!” That’s never fun, but then you race the course again and can foresee the twists and turns, and before you know it, Luigi is the proud first-place victor.

And then, of course, there’s what I like to call, not so fondly, the sophomore rut, where you don’t know where you’re going or what you’re supposed to be doing or how to get out. It’s like you’re constantly being hit with these turtle shells, and you don’t know who’s throwing them or where they’re coming from, but you don’t see them in your peripheral vision until you’ve already been knocked off your kart. They suck. And then everyone zooms by you, and before you know it, Luigi is “Mammia mia”-ing all over again.

I know all about that. I faced my share of disappointment and rejection this semester, and it threw me off at times. But then again, I had my share of luck too. I was incredibly lucky with my three suitemates, who provided me with a loving and supportive home in Templin that totally helped me with my rut. It wasn’t all bad.

So it’s when I focus on those good parts of the semester that I realize while there is such a thing as the sophomore rut – and it’s terrible – it’s part of life. There will always be a shell in the way, but then, it’s your responsibility to maneuver beyond it. And maybe even pick up a special object along the way.

Oh yeah, the special objects in Mario Kart – they help you succeed in the course. And when I think back, I know I was blessed with some pretty awesome special objects this semester, including those suitemates, study groups at the Dole Institute, meeting Newt Gingrich at the Dole Institute, going to volleyball matches, going the farthest west I’ve ever been (for volleyball), TV nights with friends, a rockin’ Studio Game Night, meals with friends, football, basketball, covering the election for Jayhawks Decide, excellent professors and that whole thing with Ann Curry. I’ll never forget that.

So Mario Kart and sophomore year are difficult, so what? Sometimes you steer yourself in the wrong direction and get thrown into the dark abyss. But you know, every time you fall, somehow that little cloud always shows up to put your kart back on the track and give you another go.



From → Sophomore

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