My eyes are bloodshot red. I haven’t blinked in the past hour. My room is dark except for the white and blue light emanating from my screen. My friends are all going out tonight. Probably going to some bar or kickback where they will interact with real people and hear in-person life updates. They invited me, but I was too absorbed by the hook of “I have something exciting to share” on a 1st connection’s latest post. So, here I am. Sitting at my desk for the sixth hour in a row scrolling through LinkedIn, staring at the lifeless headshots and slightly off graphics that mockingly announce how everyone is going to be a success and I am certainly going to be a failure and a disappointment.
It wasn’t supposed to end up this way. I went on only to see if the Wall Street wannabe in my Econ class was being truthful about his internship at Goldman Sachs this summer (he was, by the way). But that sent me into an entire spiral. The girl I sit next to in Sociology has started her own 501c3 that trains and allocates seeing-eye people to blind dogs, my lab partner is the closest anyone has ever been to curing cancer and my Political Science TA is being groomed to be the first female president of the United States. I click on the LinkedIn page of one of the blind dogs. He’s a disability advocate with 1,678 connections. I begin uncontrollably barking at my screen; I never knew I could be jealous of a blind dog.
“Oh, are you happy to announce your newest position?!” I scream at my computer. Tears stream down my face. “I’ve never even heard of this company!” I’m enraged now. I knock everything off my desk; pens, pencils and books go tumbling to the floor. The silly little cupcake graphic mocks me in my misery as I stand up for the first time in 360 minutes. I am a second away from grabbing my computer and throwing it against the wall when I get a notification. Oh. Someone just requested to connect. I watch as my 499 connections change to 500+. I place my computer back on my desk. I am the 501c3 seeing-eye people non-profit owner. I am the scientist who will cure cancer. I am going to be the first female president of the United States. I close my computer with this newly inflated ego and sashay out of my room. I’m suddenly craving cupcakes.