I think people just need to stop caring. This seems like a bold statement, but let’s see how this one plays out. I truly believe one of the greatest downfalls a person can experience can come from the belief that they need to care about everything. This pressure comes out of a society that is based on exceptionalism and the idea that one must always be striving to be the greatest or working towards having the nicest things. You need to have the best clothes, the new Jordans, the iPhone, the hot boyfriend, the best grade, and the most approval of friends, family and professors.
We are told that this is the key to happiness and a good life. This is what we should care about because this is what will bring us joy and fulfill purpose… Nah, I don’t buy it. If I had to care about all the things society tells me to care about, my mental capacity would be burnt more than the overdone food at the caf. Seriously though, this is a real problem.
I think about my second semester of my freshman year here at Northwestern. I was in multiple classes that were difficult, and I cared so much about getting A’s in those classes that I would lose sleep, flake on friends and drop other responsibilities that I had. In short, I cared too much.
Now don’t get put on academic probation because you mistake the idea of not caring for just being a lazy punk. There is nothing admirable about being indifferent. Indifferent people are scared to be different because they are actually too worried about things to care about anything. Don’t be like that. Be the type of person who thinks about what in their life should they actually care about.
The fact of the matter is that we only have so many cares to give from when we are born to when we die. By choosing cautiously what we want to care about, you are giving yourself a new set of freedoms. The freedom to not stress over what other people are thinking about you. The freedom to deeply love and listen to the people you care about even though there are tests and assignments looming over the horizon. The freedom to control what you care about so that you are able to feel stable in the choices you make. Not listening to the voices telling you what to care about can be the first step towards a freedom from worry and anxiety. So stop caring so much, and maybe you can see what truly matters to you.