November 2nd is a day that rarely registers with people. Other than perhaps being the first day completely free of a massive Halloween hangover, no one pays much attention to this date. However, every few election cycles, this simple date goes from being All Soul’s Day (i.e. completely ignored) to a day much anticipated by politicians the country over. This year November 2 will not only mark the 60-year anniversary of the death of George Bernard Shaw, it is also the day of the 2010 Midterm Elections. Exciting stuff my friends.
Before you move on, bored with the 18th such piece motivating the student body to get out and vote, let me say this is not an election piece. I realize it’s what Kanye West wants you do, but I’m not going to spend the next 500 words convincing you why you should get off your ass and go vote today. If you are currently a college student, you know exactly why and how important voting and political participation is. If you don’t care, well, you are hardly alone, but you are also sucking as a citizen and collegiate.
The reason I take such note of this, the day of birth of Marie Antoinette and Warren G. Harding, is because November 2nd is also my birthday. Turning twenty is minimally exciting, if only to finally be shedding the “teen” from my age, but it’s not my actual age that concerns me today. For most people our age, birthdays are an excuse to get absolutely hammered and put off doing anything not-fun with a shrug and a round of shots. However, I try to make my birthday a sort of self-evaluation day. A vast majority makes New Year’s Resolutions, but I make Birthday Resolutions. Taking the time to sit down and think, really think, about where you are right now, and where you want to be, can sometimes be unsettling. Many college students avoid this practice like the plague, because it means looking at the choices you’re making, and usually recognizing the near-hedonistic lifestyle most of us lead isn’t all that productive.
College is about having fun, no doubt about it, because we all know what is waiting for us in the dreary real world, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get something done on occasion. I’m not talking about volunteering with the local elementary schools or serving dinner at a soup kitchen in Cincinnati (which would be awesome if you chose to do so, don’t get me wrong). What I’m talking about is finally writing out that resume you’ve been putting off for two months or actually making something of the interviews you set up at career fair or finally showing up to vote. Just hold yourself a little bit accountable to your future, because every year that next birthday comes faster and faster.
I’m pleased with some of the things I’ve accomplished since my last birthday (mostly surviving a semester abroad) but there are other things I’ve been meaning to do, that I just haven’t gotten around to. It really doesn’t take that much effort to get the little things done, it just takes more motivation than you want to put forth. I am as guilty as the next person, don’t get me wrong. But since today is my annual reevaluation day, I’m promising myself that I will get those applications out, I will snag that research position I need, I will stop biting my nails.
The midterm elections are a chance for those of you choosing to vote to send in your evaluation of the job our government is doing. But to those of you who won’t vote (and I know you’re out there you lazy children), at least take a minute today and think about how productive you’ve been this week, this month, or this year. Maybe you’ll decide you need to do some reevaluating of your own, or maybe you’re cool with where you’re at; either way, just take a minute for a little introspection and see what you come up with.