As an expert eye-roller, shoulder shrugger, and texter of the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ emoji, I happily present to you my guide to some commonly stressed-about things that actually objectively do not matter. Though AC Voice is an inclusive publication, this guide is geared towards first year women, as I am only a sophomore and can not and will not pretend to know what teen boys care about. It is a great mystery.
I do, however, still remember what I worried about as far back as one entire year ago! I also recall that very little of it mattered. Such is life, you live in a constant state of anxiety for months and then spend the summer chilling the fuck out and understanding that there are only a handful of truly important things. Everything else is made up drama that no one will remember in a week, not even you. Here is a list so that, in true Amherst fashion, you can prepare for the anxieties of the future before the year even begins.
Things That Do Not Matter
1. What You Wear to the Socials
Literally everyone will be wearing crop tops. It’s fine to go with this and it’s fine to not. I’ve worn everything from jeans and a T-Shirt to full-length skirts with slits on both sides all the way up my thighs out on a Saturday night and it has never affected the overall quality of my night. What does matter is that you never, ever, EVER put your cute clothes in the drier unless you like wearing something twice and then throwing it away. Efficiency driers are Satan incarnate.
When you’re hooking up with someone what really matters is that the hookup is consensual, safe, and hot. I’ve been through Amherst Orientation and I know that you guys will be exposed to a lot of wonderful information about consent. Here is some more. And we’re all adults here, right? We all know to wear condoms? If anyone says that it doesn’t feel as good they are being selfish and you can tell them where to shove it (nowhere near you without protection). If we all treated sex like a natural thing that happens and approach potential partners from a place of mutual attraction and respect, the other things would just kinda work themselves out. It doesn’t matter how many sexual partners you have had, or how many the girl three doors down from you has had, because the number of people you’ve messed around with has absolutely no impact on your worth as a person or your life overall really. Getting involved romantically with someone? That’s another guide.
3. Your Social Media Presence
Nobody’s life is as fun as it is on Facebook and Instagram, this is known. But there are still some people who are bafflingly good at social media or whatever and are only ever tagged in somehow perfectly-lit pictures in glamorous places where their bodies look fit and faces look contoured and I am already exhausted just typing this sentence. Who caaaaaaares. Everyone wakes up in the mornings with eye boogers and everyone stays home to binge-watch the Food Network instead of facing life sometimes. I have some nice shots on my Instagram profile but there are also literally pictures of me eating food out of the trash on the internet.* I’m still cute IRL.
4. People Who Haven’t Figured It Out Yet
By “it” I mean that you can’t exactly go through life being an open bigot. I mean, you can, but you’re a shitty person. Shitty people’s opinions do not matter, and you are not obligated to show them the light. I no longer waste my time with boys who aren’t feminists and I no longer hate-click articles posted on Facebook that expound on all the many many ways I am not a full human being. There are real fights to fight, and they are not in the comment threads of Reddit or in some poor idiot’s crusty dorm room. (“If feminists really wanted equality then men should be allowed to hit women!” This is thankfully not a conversation I have actually had with a boy…at Amherst.) I am not your mother, I am not going to hold your hand and walk you through how to be a better person. You can learn to not be horrible all by your damn self, then we can talk. Trust me, there are wonderful people here (hey AC Voice staff and readers) who are respectful and who are fighting the good fight, and it is not because of Amherst’s “PC Culture.”**
Hopefully this will help some freshmen have a modicum more of chill than I did last year. Signing off with a reminder that drama can be lots of fun, as long as you remember that none of it actually matters and don’t let it affect your well-being. Cheers!
* It was finals week, my friend’s trash HAD JUST BEEN EMPTIED, and the trash food in question was Wings Over Amherst. THANKS LIV.
** Pro tip: anyone who uses this term in a serious way is a closet bigot. Run.