Switching schools gives you the opportunity to reinvent yourself, or at the very least to change your reputation. 

You’ve got one chance in the move from elementary school to high school, and one chance in the move from high school to university. You may have more chances depending on how many times you switch schools in between, but you’re pretty much guaranteed at least two.

It’s a nice thing, I think. Like getting re-rolls in Monopoly. Fuck your hotel on Boardwalk, I’m re-rolling.

While I’m sure that some people put an effort into making sure that they develop a particular reputation, reputations often develop completely by accident. Especially the negative ones. Not too many people see themselves as assholes, or sluts, or evil. Not too many people want to be seen as assholes, or sluts, or evil. Not too many people have "asshole" or "slut" or "evil" in their About Me section on Facebook. Those types of reputations just kind of happen.

At Queen’s, I had a reputation for being quiet and not doing much. Not exactly a great reputation to have.

But the Powers-That-Be saw fit to give me another chance at U of T, and so I rolled the dice once again. Guess what I’ve come up with.

"The Cynic."

Really? Wow, I never would have expected that. Basically, I’m the guy who just hates everything and lampoons everyone.

While I’m certainly a very judgmental person, I don’t hate everything. There’s a lot that I like about the world. I probably like a lot more stuff than I hate. And while I’ve definitely done more lampooning this year than usual, that’s mostly because I’ve just been given much more opportunity to do so this year. I mean, look at who I’m living with this year.

A Dungeons and Dragons nerd with a mohawk.
A British girl.
An incredibly gullible Asian girl.
A ginger.
A cage fighter.
A Turk.
An opera singer in training.

I mean, come on. They’re practically asking for it.

But regardless of the reasons, this is the reputation that I’ve ended up with. And it has its advantages, I guess. For one thing, it means that I can pretty much say anything about anyone I want to, and no one will take it seriously. But while it’s cool not having to watch what I say, overall I don’t feel like this reputation is one that works for me.

So I’m going to try to change it.

I mean, if I can. That’s the thing: I don’t even know if it’s possible to change a reputation within the space of four months. It’s an interesting experiment, right?  My plan is basically to maintain my current behavioural pattern for the rest of the term, and then come back next term doing whatever I can to dispel this "cynic" label that I’ve been given.

My hypothesis is that if I commit myself to changing my reputation, it can be done. It will take a while, but it can be done. Not in a week, and not in a month, but I think that it will be hard for the others to completely ignore such a radical change in my behaviour if it’s maintained over the period of several months.

That’s what I think anyhow. How about you?

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