A friend of mine always says that if something is on Wikipedia or in the magazine Cosmopolitan, it is very likely to be true. I disagree with the Cosmo part of this statement. As an overwhelmed college student, I revere Wikipedia for the super fast access to basic facts that it provides. On the other hand, as an independent young woman, I despise Cosmo for the fact that the main information offered in each issue is about pleasing men. Oh, please. Yet once again, as I was sweating on the elliptical, I had the newest Cosmo was in front of me. Of course, I only read gossip magazines in the gym simply because I can’t resist the urge to multitask, which is painfully intrinsic in every Williams student. Or at least that’s what I like to tell myself.
Flipping through the pages, I reached a section entitled “You, Even Better.” To me that usually means “Me, Having Slept Eight Hours,” but I decided to keep on reading in case they have other magical tricks in mind. One of the articles, “Learn to Love the Suckiest Day of the Week,” says that even though most people think Monday is the worst day of the week, Wednesday is actually worse. False: I actually get to sleep in on Wednesdays. Tuesdays are far worse because (a) I have three classes in a row; (b) I spend a lot of time on extracurriculars; (c) the weekend seems like it is an era away. Nonetheless, later in the article, Cosmo offers to help me better myself with a few simple steps and, since the eight-hours-of-sleep option is out of the question, I decide to give Cosmo a shot to change my life.
Step 1:“Create an a.m. playlist for your commute.” “Commute” is definitely an overstatement for Williams, so I obediently decide to pick a single song for my two-minute walk to class. Ida Corr? Anything European is close to my heart. “Tik Tok”? A little too intense for a morning walk. “Sexy Chick,” for some Euro-U.S. experience? I’ll just pick in the morning. I can’t wait to become “even better.”
I get up 20 minutes earlier than usual and stop by Tunnel City before my first class. I order a cappuccino and religiously put a solid amount of cinnamon in it. According to Cosmo, “dressing up my java” will decrease my anxiety and keep me more alert. I actually do feel pretty pumped and anxiety-free after I finish my drink. Point for Cosmo. But now I’m late for class and “Tik Tok” is blasting from my earphones. How ironic.
Step 2: “Make this your lunching-out day.” This one will absolutely happen because I don’t have much time between my second and third classes. Does Subway count as a “different deli,” compared to Paresky lunch? I guess so. As of the “adrenaline rush” that is supposed to flush through my veins, well, sprinting to class definitely does the trick.
Step 3: “Buy an inexpensive flower to put on your desk.” Two problems with this one. First: There is absolutely no space on my desk for anything at all. Second: Where do I get a flower? The flower shop right across from the mall in our bustling downtown? Cosmo, be more considerate to people who don’t live in New York City.
Step 4: “Sign up for ShopItToMe.com, a site that alerts you when your favorite brands go on sale.” Okay, that’s advice for the wrong person. I completely agree that owning a few extra pairs of shoes and purses that I don’t need would make my “self” so much better, but my parents probably wouldn’t be on the same page. Also, I hate junk mail. Pass.
Step 5: I’m supposed to try to schedule my Saturday plans, so the weekend starts feeling a tiny bit closer. In fact, I’m supposed to have a party for one of my friends this weekend, so I sit down and quickly create a Facebook group to let people know about our grand plans. It’s not exactly “imagining myself lounging on a beach” as Cosmo envisioned it, but imagining myself and my girls on a Saturday night, downing “traditional beverages,” could count as an “instant mental holiday,” right? I feel good.
Step 6: “Make Wednesday Would You Rather Day with your guy.” Now this could be really interesting. However, it’s 6:20 p.m, so the only relevant text I know my guy and I really care about at this point is “Would you rather go to Mission or Paresky.” The people from Cosmo probably expected a completely different “Would you rather …” game. This will have to suffice for now, though.
So, time’s up! At the end of the day, I’m actually happy I followed Cosmo’s advice. I have to admit, I enjoyed spending time doing stuff with the sole purpose of making myself feel better. If anything, Cosmo reminded me I should take the time of the day to intentionally act and feel positive, even in the midst of my horror-Tuesday routine. After all, I could’ve picked to follow the other set of advice in the make-me-feel-better section: “Curb Cravings Without Eating a Thing.” No thanks, Cosmo.