People hate Michael Bay films (Transformers, Bad Boys II etc). They are loud, violent, often full of racist humor and misogynistic portrayals. Indeed the film director is often the subject of much public disdain. When asked about the peoples’ thoughts towards him, the filmmaker replied by how much money his movies make and stating “someone’s watching.” The director stated he would keep making them as long as people kept coming. Regardless of how one feels about his films, there is a crucial lesson in his response. This lesson applies not only to Dartmouth but to every aspect of your life. In economics we refer to this lesson as “revealed preference.” Revealed preference is a theory that claims to learn one’s preferences by their purchasing habits. For instance, if one sees a Michael Bay film instead of a more critically acclaimed film, they prefer Michael Bay films. What does this principle have to do with you? I’m so glad you asked.
These past three years I have witnessed many relationships, whether professional, personal, or romantic, fall. These relationships ended because the revealed preference of one party showed they actually did not care about the other. In the same way your purchasing habits tells me your preference, your actions tell me your true desires. For instance, do you really care about your friends, if you yourself never actively set up hangouts? If you really actually want to be a better student, put in the man hours to do so. If you actually want to be a better brother, sister, friend, or significant other, you must do something to that end. A big problem with this, is that first you must be sure about what you actually want.
If it is the case that you actually don’t care about your grades as long as you don’t fail, or the case that you actually really aren’t that interested in your friends then you should be aware of that. But if you actually truly want to be better, in what ever area you should act like you want it and do something. Do anything. As you begin this term and start considering what extracurriculars or classes to take I encourage you to look at your own actions and learn your wants from them. If when you are alone all you do is draw, why are you in the math department? If when you are alone all you can think about is dance, why are you not in a dance group? If you are in an A Capella group, but only thinking about singing at practice or when you need to, why are you in it? If going to volleyball practice is dreadful for you and you are consistently late, why are you in it?
MORAL OF THE STORY: Find what it is you want, and then make sure your actions align with that. One should be able to tell your wants what you are doing. Cast aside everything else and only focus on what you actually want. Welcome Back to Dartmouth.