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The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

Objects in mirror may be nicer than they appear

Are Bethel students stuck inside a bubble of sugar and sweet, separated from real-world meanness?  

By Anna Pearson

“Minnesota nice” noun: Being reserved, courteous and mild-mannered, according to Wikipedia.  

“Bethel University nice” noun: Saying hi to every single person you see on campus, even the third cousin once-removed of your biology lab partner, then looking them up on the Directory five minutes later to check where they live, what their major is, what year they are by credit and the quality of their ID photo, according to me.

Are all small private colleges this complacent? Do others say hi to girls who have clothes-selling private stories they added themselves to, professors who are the head of their department but they’ve never had a class with or even their best friend’s ex-situationship that they don’t even like?

Or is Bethel too nice?

I often find myself stuck in a cycle of fake greeting-card-like scenarios on a daily basis. Sometimes, the words “hey,” “what’s up” and “I’m good, how are you?” come out of my mouth ten plus times in a less-than ten minute walk. 

Is there something causing this sweet nice frosting spilling from all of our tongues? Busy schedules? Lack of interest? The desire to fake happiness 24/7? What if we told people how we really feel?

Objects in mirror may be nicer than they appear. Some days, you might not want to put on a nice outfit – so what? People at other colleges go to class half-awake at 8 a.m. in their pajamas. I don’t want to have to wake up at seven to put on mascara, match my socks and actually look awake. I’m rolling up to my 9 a.m. class with a Bubbl’r in hand and suitcase-sized dark circles under my eyes. 

The problem isn’t the incessant greetings, nor the pressure to appear perfect at all times. Bethel just is a place that encourages cute little walks around campus and makes students want to dress up for class. We’d like to imagine ourselves sitting at a small, locally-owned aesthetic coffee shop in Minneapolis, wearing our best yet comfiest outfit, with the hopes that onlookers think you seem cool or unbothered. 

College is a time when we want to be living our best life, and so that means making other people think that you are too – even if you cry to your roommate over a steaming 20 ounce cup of hot cocoa topped with extra marshmallows about that bad grade you just got back on an assignment you put 5+ hours of work into (the night before it was due) as soon as you get back to your dorm for the night.

Hitting a little too close to home?

Then maybe we need to stop being overly nice. Let’s be real – we hate the idea of being in the Bethel Bubble.

Let’s be a little more real: we’re not perfect and neither is Bethel. I mean, let’s not lash out and go crazy now, but maybe if we’re asked how we feel, we don’t always have to say “good.” Baby steps. 

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