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I am a broke college student with little to no idea how to handle basic adult situations, which makes me no stranger to petty crises. With friends in similar stages of life, it is standard that I have become an expert in both giving and receiving advice. In recent years, I have noticed a disturbing evolution in the advice realm that currently seems to be at its peak.
When the tears are flowing over an unanswered text message, when spirits are low due to a bombed exam, when the going gets tough, advice-givers no longer dole out the encouraging “the tough gets going.” In its place is: “you’ve just got to stop caring.”
There are some things that I begrudgingly accept as defining factors of my generation: an excessive use of hashtags, Carly Rae Jepsen music and snap-backs, to name a few. However, I refuse to let my youth be defined by this “no-care” contagion. As my generation is notorious for doing, we have actually crafted an obnoxious acronym for the phenomena I’m speaking of: DGAF. Well, guess what. I GAF. I GAF a lot, and you should, too.
Much like how feigned disinterest in a potential sweetheart is supposed to make the desired come running, playing hard-to-get with your problems is supposed to absolve them. Unfortunately, I can say from experience that faking indifference for a love interest only works in ABC Family television sensations, and the same goes for feigning apathy toward other concerns.
If you “just don’t care” that you got a D on your economics midterm, the final is not going to flatter you by becoming easier. If you get in a nasty squabble with a friend, you belittle the friendship by concluding that it’s not worth a second thought. If your dog manages to chew open your boxed wine and lap up the contents and you throw your hands in the air and walk out of the room in a detached fury, you now not only have nothing to drink tonight, but you have a potentially dead pet. Your “I’m-too-cool-for-this” attitude just killed your dog. Do you care about that?
Admittedly, the latter example is a bit of a stretch, but it still raises the question: What is wrong with caring about things?
Passion is what motivates us to act, progress and grow. Be upset that you did poorly on that econ test, and study more effectively next time. Let your hurt feelings regarding the nasty squabble alert you that this person means something to you, and try to amend the situation. Exhibit signs of an emotional maturity higher than the alcohol content in your dog’s body.
Because that is what this inevitably comes down to, isn’t it? Due to the heightened fear of rejection via every form of social media and the increasing pressure of “going out into the real world,” commitment-phobic young adults who can’t even commit to reading an entire article are now severing ties with their emotions, as well. Apathy seems like the ideal solution in that it frees us from emotional responsibility, but it comes with a price. In letting all the little things that you choose not to care about slip through your fingers, you end up empty-handed.
People become upset over things which are significant to them. People matter. Things matter. If we’re finishing off the noun criteria, places matter, too. It’s okay to act accordingly.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Lizzy Hernandez at Elizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org.