Well, hello there. I am Meg Hancock, and I have been Friday Friday (cue confetti, marching band, and walmart yodel boy). Settling into my role as Friday Friday was a little uncomfortable at first, I must admit. 

Mostly because Friday Friday isn’t really a thing. 

Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to share the title of the Chronicle’s satirical columnist with the very funny and clever actual Monday Monday, but I was a little skeptical of being Friday Friday, because now not only was I anonymous, but I didn’t even have the name recognition of being the original Monday Monday. At first, I felt like I was the second-string satirist, tucked in my cozy corner of the paper, having to explain who I was in every byline. But, I learned that being an “off-brand Monday Monday” afforded me some freedom. I’m hesitant to say that there’s baggage that comes with being Monday Monday, but I do think the tradition of being the anonymous satirical columnist has some implicit responsibilities. You have to be savvy about writing on things that are timely, representative, and interesting. As Friday Friday, I had some of that responsibility, sure. But I didn’t have the same expectations placed upon my writing. I didn’t necessarily have to be the voice of the Duke counterculture, I just had to be me. So, I wrote what I thought was funny. 

Were all of my jokes good? Probably not. Did I mention Kentucky a few too many times for taste of the average Duke student who likely isn’t from Paducah, KY (lovingly known as the quilt capital of the world)? Almost certainly. I laughed, though.

Being Friday Friday taught me something very important about writing, and just generally being a person: don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s so easy to get caught up in a game of expectations and illusions here at Duke. I remember when I stepped foot on campus as a freshman, I vowed that I’d be cool. I know, I know, WHAT an angsty teen novel opening line. But it’s true. I was coming from a small town in Kentucky, I didn’t have a vast network of connections, I had no idea how to play the social games here. For a little while, I tried to learn them. I bought crop tops at Forever 21 and networked at Sanford events. I envisioned my life at Duke as sleek, chic, and perfect. Of course, that life doesn’t exist. I quickly learned that I wasn’t fooling anyone.

I spat out facts about batik fabrics while meeting new people, and I definitely recited Robert Frost poems at parties. Luckily, I found people who didn’t mind hearing about how elitist Louisville and Lexington are, or how my favorite Jonas Brother was Kevin (I KNOW). And I loved hearing about my friends’ obsessions with The Incredibles, internet security, and Pittsburgh. I learned that the people I love to spend time with are those that are unabashedly passionate. 

At Duke, people love to pretend they don’t care. We spend countless hours in Perkins, then post memes about skipping class. We joke with our friends about how our GPAs are busted, but then call our parents distraught over a bad paper grade. When we do care about things, it’s relegated to tabling on the BC Plaza, or a viral Chronicle column (ironic, I’m aware). We ignore what makes us uncomfortable on campus, and suppress our passions for fear of isolation. 

Being Friday Friday taught me that there is nothing more rewarding than creating things because you love them. It doesn’t matter how many Insta likes something will get, or if it will make you a LinkedIn god. If your heart isn’t in what you do, then it isn’t worth doing. Is this canned advice? Yeah, maybe. But it’s clearly not an idea we have internalized as a study body yet. Also, I don’t buy the argument that pursuing a passion isn’t practical. If Duke students are anything, we’re ingenious. If we can figure out how to sneak into Craven quad on LDOC despite security guards posted up at the entrances, we can figure out how to do what we love.

One more point. Although I fully believe creation should be intrinsically motivated, I love when people tell me I’m funny. And by people, I mean two lawn care companies. Oh, “The Lawn Care Nut- Allyn Hane” and “Spring Touch Lawn & Pest Control,” how I appreciate you. For those of you out of the loop, these precious companies posted the comments, “This is the greatest thing I have ever read” and “So who is Friday Friday? This piece deserves an award” on my landscaping Basketball recruits article. Thank you, my dear lawn care patrons; I agree.