The Funniest Option: a Life Philosophy

Let me share with you the key to surviving senior year. I’ll set the stage if you’ve forgotten what it’s like: it’s raining, you’re late to class, you have a 12 hour day at school, five hours of homework, college rejections waiting in your inbox, and god, what you wouldn’t give for two seconds to breathe. Sometimes I wonder how more people don’t just have absolute mental breakdowns.

I am a proud and accomplished expert on senior year misery. They call it ‘senior fall’ for a reason, don’t they? I am happy to tell you I have cried in every single bathroom in the upper school. Yup, every one. Even the gross ones in the history building. Even just walking around the halls! Misery, misery, misery.

Enter Sofia. I’d been in classes with this girl for all of high school and barely spoken to her. Suddenly she becomes my favorite person. Why? Because she always, without fail, chooses the funniest option. This is a lesson that not only got me through senior year but also just might get me through life.

Sofia speaks seven languages, is related to Greek aristocrats, and is a genius. I don’t remember exactly how our friendship started. I think she was as chaotic as I was concerning and it just worked. She tells absurd lies for fun, ‘only eats noodles on Tuesdays’, and every time I talk to her she’s mysteriously traveled to another glamorous European country. I kind of think she’s an immortal teleporting witch.

Anyways, the key to surviving life is surrounding yourself with the most chaotic people possible. Have a friend that likes to run through sprinklers in the middle of the night? Great. What about one who has like no shame, has probably murdered someone, but is also oddly motherly? Mhm. Don’t forget the one who sends 8 ball requests as a response to angry texts, or the one that goes to eat at a ramen shop and just orders a bowl of plain bean sprouts. The key is chaos in the little ways.

Drive two hours to goof around at the mall and buy build-a-bears. Sneak into the tunnels under the school. Hiss at middle schoolers. Put on a play at your Quaker school that features characters holding guns (very un-Quakerly), and send an email asking if anyone, god please we’re desperate, has a taxidermy deer head we can borrow. Buy your grumpy advisor a sparkly jacket with his fantasy football team name (coolnballer) on the back. Just go absolutely feral.

The funniest option, in the wild

I love that my generation’s response to trauma is humor. I could write pages of horror stories about why I’ve shed so many tears, but instead, you get this. Whatever this is. We’ve had enough sadness. I just want to make someone smile.

If you’re feeling stuck, lost, and scared of change, I see you. If you’re class of ’22 and wondering where your childhood went, I see you. Do me a favor, and do something a little crazy. Howl at the moon, join a barbershop quartet, make a friend who is 100% more insane than you are. Frankly, be as stupid as this post is.

Go for it, live a little. For me, that’s the difference between life happening to you and you happening to life: the funniest option.

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