The argument for mediocrity  

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Events and tasks only have the weight that people place on them. The importance of many tasks is overinflated and promotes obsession over prodcutivity in categories such as work. Illustration by Anna Iorfino/The Daily Campus.

Hi Huskies, welcome back to yet another semester at the University of Connecticut and the fourth semester of Inside Maddie’s Mind. It’s kind of crazy to me that we’ve made it this far and I still manage to find something to say each week – but hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. 

This week, as I’m settling into what is shaping up to be a particularly stressful semester, I’ve been thinking a lot about mediocrity. Does this seem a little bit morbid in some sense? Maybe. Could it be described as dismal or depressing? Sure. Is it odd to say outright? Definitely. But overall, I really don’t think it’s as bad as we make it out to be. 

I’ve found throughout the course of my life that almost nothing is ever that serious – if you don’t make it that serious. And I think the perfect example of this is my column. 

I write it in a very basic, conversational tone on purpose; I want it to be relatable. In other words, these are things I would otherwise explain in a long-winded rant while out to lunch with a friend. Though it seems weird to explicitly state, I’m not trying to sound sophisticated, and I’m not using this as a means to boast my intelligence to a handful of readers. The elitist language of academia gives me enough grief in my classes in attempting to read academic papers that sound convoluted and advanced – when, hot take, they are oftentimes just examples of bad writing. I strive to be the opposite of this in my own column. Which, I might add, I write and maintain on top of my regular academic course load simply because I enjoy it. 

With that being said, I also know that I’m not breaking the mold every week with what’s going on Inside Maddie’s Mind. While each column is its own argument, each argument is not necessarily groundbreaking. I’ll be the first to admit that my takes aren’t always grand, world-changing observations. But that’s okay! As I’ve repeated again and again, I write it for myself, regarding what I’m thinking about. That’s it. 

Just yesterday, one of my roommates suggested I take up journaling, before pausing mid-sentence, further adding that it wouldn’t be much different than what I do here. “It’s not like you don’t journal at least once a week already,” she said. And at this point, I’m inclined to agree with her. While of course true journaling is a little more personal – I certainly am more willing to name-drop in a private notebook than I am in a column that’s both printed in physical newspaper copies and published online forever; the basic function is the same. Expressing oneself, through whichever preferred means, is important in every form. 

To sum this all up, this is my argument in favor of mediocrity. At least in this variation and form of my writing, I’m not trying to be the most mind-boggling author of a college newspaper column ever. I understand my small role in the universe is just that – small – and I’m happy with it that way. I’m aware of my niche. 

While there is some variety, Inside Maddie’s Mind is formulaic on purpose. It’s first and foremost a form of expression for myself. There is of course the off-chance that another person might relate to what I’ve written here. Now, that person might be one of my lovely roommates or friends that dutifully follow my column, a one-time reader who found my content linked from another platform and accidentally clicked on it or a stranger who stumbled upon a copy of The Daily Campus blowing in the wind. But in general, I am my target audience, and that’s how I prefer it. 

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