Challenge 3: An Opportunity Lost

Identify what you now think of as the greatest missed opportunity.

Second semester of freshman year I enrolled in an introduction Comparative Literature course. The particular section for which I was registered revolved around comparing our own personal experience to that of characters’ from popular coming-of-age movies. My first critical analysis assignment was to discuss anything of my choosing from one of my favorite movies, Mean Girls. At the very time in which I was taking this class, the sheer idea of writing was a large fear, an aspect of academia in which I had never excelled. But nonetheless, I was required to take a course of this type to fulfill my first year writing requirement.

My grade in the course was decided by six essays, which, over the course of 13 weeks, meant that I only had about two weeks in change to work on each one. My idea for this paper was simple but one to which I had a sincere attachment. If given the opportunity of an entire semester to explore this topic, I think I really could have created something special, possibly even important. In the essay that I did have time to write, I wanted to explore the idea heavily projected in Mean Girls, that perhaps in our quest to fit into a social normative group of our choosing, we ultimately lose out on finding ourselves. Growing up, I struggled to allow myself to actually connect with genuine people. Somehow I also found myself gravitating towards the people who had the most money and along with that, the least authenticity. To me, it was better to appease the popular crowd than to find people I actually enjoyed being with, a fact that I didn’t really understand until I graduated high school and moved away.

Mean Girls meant a lot to me growing up. If I had had the time to devote to a prompt of this kind, I would like to think that I would have created something unique and used my own personal relationship to important elements of the storyline to come away with a greater critical understanding. Perhaps this was my greatest (literary) missed opportunity.

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