I bought a new pair of boots the other day, though that’s getting ahead of ourselves a little bit. It’s currently November which means, for New England, it’s that weird season where it’s not quite winter but fall is basically over. All of this means that it’s time to break our boots out of the closet in anticipation of the coming snow/frozen muddy weather that we always get. And like all good New Englanders I have a very trustworthy pair of boots built for surviving bad weather. They’re a pair of Merrell hiking boots that have survived three Connecticut winters as well as the backcountry of Tanzania. You could say they are built pretty tough.
Unfortunately, being that they are built super tough, they look like they are built tough. Like the traditional rubber-looking soles that wrap partially up the boot. And then that half leather, half breathable looking mesh up the sides. And of course, that neon orange tubing that gives Merrell shoes their look. Super strong boots, not the most stylish things out there.
I’ve been looking at Thursday Boot Company boots for a long time. They are super nice, super durable and super fashionable. They are completely leather and could probably help you survive the apocalypse while still looking fly. With all that in mind, guess how much they cost? The pair I like runs around 200 dollars. I don’t know about you, but that’s a bit more than I can afford as a college student, even with the somewhat stable income stream I have.
So, I started to shop around and through the power of the internet I found another pair of stylish leather boots that, with the help of the Pocket Points app, ended up costing about half the cost of the Thursday Boot Company boots. They are from this company called Inkkas and honestly looked pretty fly on the website.
This experience is a huge part of college. At some point you are going to have to learn how to settle. That advice probably runs contrary to everything you’ve been taught. From the time we are young children, we are told to always work as hard as we can. If we do that then we can earn whatever we want no matter how far away or how difficult it is to achieve.
That is some pretty decent advice. Having lofty goals and reaching for the stars helps us push ourselves and try to do things better than we ever have. Sometimes though, the thing you are reaching for is just way too unrealistic or way too far out of your reach. I think that the noted philosopher Mick Jagger put it best, “You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes you might find, you get what you need.”
Maybe calling it “settling” was the wrong word. Maybe the right word is “compromise.” Maybe you just need to be innovative about how you go about getting around the subject. But the idea is still the same. Sometimes what you want is simply unattainable. Maybe you want to take a stat class with a certain professor but all the seats are full. Maybe you want a job at a certain company but they aren’t hiring in your field. Maybe you want a pair of beautiful 200 dollar boots but you can’t justify spending that kind of money.
At the end of the day, you can find a way to work around those things and still come out well on the other end. Can’t get into the section with that professor? Then sign up with another professor, kick some butt and use that grade to show the original professor that you are prepared for one of their courses in the future. Can’t get your dream job? Then make that your future goal and make every job you apply to from now on a building block toward that job. Or maybe find a similar company that is doing exactly what you want to do but is also hiring. The world is a big place, there is something for you out there.
As for me, not being able to afford boots from Thursday Boot Company introduced me to a pretty awesome brand of shoes. The boots arrived the other day in the mail and frankly they are better than anything I was expecting. They are fun and unique like me and help tie together all my fall/winter outfits. I expect them to last a long time.
Amar Batra is a senior staff photographer and weekly columnist for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets at @amar_batra19.