Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I've mentioned before that I'm in the Honors College. It's a little pretentious - okay, a lot pretentious. The night before graduation, the College hosts a sit-down dinner for all the students and their families, at which we will receive a booklet describing all our exploits and those of our classmates.

Our assistant dean emailed a questionnaire about said exploits. The questions for the most part are pretty basic: volunteer activities, extracurriculars, etc. Then they ask
1. What is your most significant academic achievement?
2. What is your most significant personal achievement?
The first is pretty easy - completing my thesis. That 75-page sucker (it's only an undergrad thesis) represents a year of blood, sweat and tears.

But the second question is rather ... personal. My significant personal achievements include:
1. Gaining 20 pounds
2. Being able to pop a handful of chocolate chips in my mouth and resisting the urge to spit them out (just now did this)
3. Managing to sustain a romantic relationship for three years
4. Learning to live on my own
None of which I really want to put in a booklet for all to see. "Gained 20 pounds" would just confuse people. I'll have to think of a BS achievement - I'll ask my mom.


Anonymous said...

what if you did share what really is your biggest accomplishment? what if you really were honest with your SELF? how bad would that be? i only say that because i am struggling to break through the social mores and structures that say--no one really wants to know about YOU. which may be true. but i AM me, so if i'm not being honest about that, what is there?

Sarah said...

Could you just say something like "having a healthy mind and body?" And, congrats on the chocolate chips ;)

ola said...

I think Sarah´s idea is very good. You don´t have to mention numbers or chocolate chips and still express your real accomplishment. It IS important. Not only for you, but for the principle- i think if everyone who is battling ED or another mental illness wrote it on his thesis, book, article etc. it would be great way how to make it visible and more "real" than in some magazines. But honestly I don´t know if I was able to do it.

Lissy said...

what if you did put "gaining 20 pounds?" and make every body think a little?!

congratulations on all of it!!!! great, great work.

of course, write what you're comfortable with. did you ask your mom? i wonder what she said.

lisalisa said...

hmmm, makes me wonder what other people will be putting as their personal achievements. You should totally make something up, like "climbed mt. everest" or "sailed the atlantic solo" or something like that ;)

Kristina said...

Those sorts of questions just make me squirm.
But maybe it's good to feel uncomfortable about having to reflect on your life.
As for #4 - I think that IS huge. Learning to live independently and be a responsible adult - do you know how many "accomplished" and "successful" people can't get that right?