Since my first day of freshman year, I have written more than 150 stories, edited more than three volumes worth of articles and clocked in more hours in 301 Flowers than I would care to admit.
I fell in love with a boy for the first time while working through a feature in InCopy and subsequently dealt with my first heartbreak by drinking pumpkin-flavored vodka with another editor on my floor, all while trying to grapple with transitions to Camayak, new carpets and squirrel invasions.
My friends have joked that I live in 301 Flowers, and I am here to validate them by writing in print that they were absolutely right. I didn’t do much else with my time here: I didn’t study abroad my junior year, I didn’t join a selective living group or Greek life, I didn’t play club sports or try out for a play. I was living my life at The Chronicle, and truthfully, I don’t regret a second of it.
Variety may be the spice of life, but to be frank, it just ain’t my thing. Anyone who knows me can attest—I’m an intense person. I like lengthy Russian novels and dramatic readings of Edgar Allan Poe’s works. I tend to do one thing at a time and put my entire being into it.
T.S. Eliot said, “it is obvious that we can no more explain a passion to a person who has never experienced it than we can explain light to the blind.”
Maybe that is why I have had so much trouble writing this column. Because I can’t really explain why I got to Duke and immediately holed myself up in a poorly heated attic overlooking the Chapel steps. Or why I’ve spent more all-nighters on articles than my own academic success. Or why I sacrificed relationships and friendships for hour-long discussions over what story should go above the fold.
I did it because it was my passion. At the time, I didn’t see what I was doing as particularly sacrificial—I just saw what I was doing as the most important thing I could be doing.
I worry that quantity has begun to replace quality in the lives of adolescents and young adults. We’ve been bred to believe that résumés stocked with several internships and extracurricular activities are the keys to success and, thus, the keys to a happy life. I’m not here to pass judgment—I’m sure there are people who enjoy a myriad of activities and execute most, if not all, relatively well.
But I would like to dedicate this column to the more reclusive, passionate types. The ones who prefer to spend hours toiling over an independent study or staying up late to paint the perfect skyline. The ones like Lucy in Aesop Rock’s song “No Regrets”—who spend their entire lives perfecting a skill simply because it made them happy.
As Lucy said in the song, “look, I’ve never had a dream in my life because a dream is what you want to do and still haven’t pursued. I knew what I wanted and did it ‘til it was done, so I’ve been the dream that I wanted to be since day one.”
So there it is. I did what I wanted here, and I’m still going to be doing it in New York in a few short weeks. Variety be damned and, as a nod to the immortal Tim Riggins, “no regrets.”
Danielle Muoio is a Trinity senior. She was editor-in-chief of The Chronicle’s 109th volume and co-Editor of Towerview Magazine for The Chronicle’s 110th volume. She would like to dedicate this column to Grump, who always encouraged her to be a writer. She would also like to thank The Chronicle staff, family and friends for never forgetting to restore sanity.
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