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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Regular Emily dismisses PR Emily

I've never felt so dishonest in my life. 

 

 

 

It was Saturday, and for the first time in months, I had a few hours of introspective, soul-searching free time. 

 

 

 

Alone, hungover in my room, I faced a frightening question, one which the ability to answer would determine either internal peace or a loss of identity. In my tiny bedroom in my tiny house, my whisper resonated against the blank walls-\What do you want to do?"" 

 

 

 

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I couldn't answer. Coming up with things I actually wanted was like navigating the west end of campus while drunk or taking yet another incompetent TA's lecture seriously: utterly impossible. 

 

 

 

But the inability to realize my own inclinations led to me a completely different and sobering realization altogether: I had become the Public Relations Officer for Emily Winter. 

 

 

 

Not technically, of course, because I don't pay very well or offer decent health benefits. But I had become so immersed in spewing out the same pleasing lines to friends, instructors and peers that at some point in the last week I started lacking that genuine quality that can only come from self-awareness. 

 

 

 

It's plaguing campus. By the time spring rolls around, we've got our days and nights so plotted out that we forget to ask ourselves ""do I want this?"" 

 

 

 

Example. A few weeks ago a blue-eyed hottie wandered my way at a bar. Me? He wants to talk to me? I reveled in what I thought was great luck. 

 

 

 

Turns out, though, the evening didn't present unique conversation spotted with lighthearted witticisms. Instead, it brought Paul's Public Relations Manager. 

 

 

 

Slicing off the layers of crusty, cheesy clich??s, I soon realized PR Paul had nothing to say. I stuck it out. Maybe the substance is hidden at the bottom of his half pitcher? Maybe this story he's telling is headed somewhere interesting? 

 

 

 

Not so. As the pitcher grew lighter, PR Paul only became more sloppy and emphatic. Somewhere along the way, Paul had replaced his soul with a PR agent that promised great internships, a lucrative career and a house in the suburbs. Needless to say, I went home alone. 

 

 

 

What's worse than the sheer boredom of spending days and nights doing the same things, and hearing the same sugar-coated safe conversation, is the scary problem that lies beneath. 

 

 

 

People who take the time to stop pleasing everyone and consider the question, ""what do I want?"" have an honest aura about them that's impossible to miss. 

 

 

 

But the rest of us slip into our own PR campaigns because when we're faced with ourselves and deciding which opportunities and topics genuinely interest us, we panic. We are so dedicated to the activities we should do and ""must"" do, that we forget what we're passionate about in the first place.  

 

 

 

Thus, PR Emily, I'm going to have to let you go. You've tried hard to convince people that you're smart and charismatic. But without substance, you're a worthless, empty shell of a person. 

 

 

 

Instead, during these last weeks of school, I'm setting aside time to chill out alone. To pleasure read and play Nintendo. To remind myself of that one painfully difficult, crucial question. 

 

 

 

What do you want? 

 

 

 

etwinter@wisc.edu. 

 

 

 

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