The College of William and Mary is full of studious, liberal arts-minded students who all share a deep passionate secret — everyone wants to be a pop star. It is rooted in our subconscious, the desire to make a living out of selling generated feelings.
Why else would the majority of campus walk around with headphones in if it weren’t for the fact that we are all quietly planning our fantasy sold-out world tour?
If you think about it, making millions of dollars selling cheap bops would make a degree in English unnecessary. Art history is a precursor to creating your new cover art. Who needs the business school when you have Instagram and YouTube to make you famous?
As pop stars, we could immortalize significant moments in our lives and scream out our feelings to millions of people who would scream it back. Therefore, we would be able to translate confusing and difficult moments into simple, radio-friendly tunes.
Every breakup and heartache is condensed and pushed into a neatly packaged album. Once the song is released and the money starts rolling in, you can push that song into the forgotten past and begin to create your image for the next record.
The more people who listen to you, the more validated your experiences are, as if you are proving your humanity by sounding like a robot. If pop stardom is really this easy, then why are there still 6,000 undergraduates walking around Old Campus?
The argument can be made that we are living a pop culture life already — after all, the success of pop comes from the ability to never stop exporting, and nobody knows more about the ugly side of burning out than students.
As students, we have to perform our best efforts every single day, even when it seems impossible. Our self-worth is based on how the College perceives us. The minute we stop producing work for them, money is wasted. With all the intense training we are put through and the obstacles we face, it is no wonder our deepest desire is to scream into a microphone.
We are lucky, though, because all we need to do to escape this pop culture life is change the station every now and then.
Try to walk around Old Campus without headphones on and just breathe — because not every experience we have is made for a pop song.