Campus Columnist finalist - Dutch
Ode to the slacker
It's decided: in my next group assignment, I'm going to be a slacker.
You read it right — I've had enough. From now on, I'm going to do the bare minimum. People are not going to hear from me and I'm only going to fill in the Doodle at the last moment (if I do it at all). I'm going to promise too much and deliver too little, not work on other people's feedback, do my own thing, etc etc.
I say that every time, but I never actually do it. Call it insecurity ("is it going to be ok?"). Although I always get incredibly mad at slackers, the truth is I'm jealous of them. After all, slackers can teach us so many lessons! Allow me to enumerate some of them:
1. Slackers can maintain a work-life balance like no other! They are so good at setting their priorities straight: after all, living is more important than grades. Student life is about so much more than an endless stream of tests and projects. Besides, everyone will understand that something else came up and you'll make it up to them next time.
2. Apart from outside influences, free riders know how to recognise when an assignment is too vague, too irrelevant... So why bother? Put it at the bottom of your priority list. The whole group is thinking the same thing but the slacker is the only one protesting against it. If only that would be taken into account in the assessment criteria.
3. Speaking of priorities: slackers know like no other how hustling works. Your grades are not going to be mentioned on your CV, no one in your Linkedin network (with over 500 people, of course) will know. But participating in that extra committee, oh yeah. Joining another board on the side? Sure! Free riders cope with the pressure to perform as if they were born for it: they know how to get a CV as wide as the ocean and as shallow as a puddle.
4. Finally, these skills and activities are not decisive for your future but the friends you make along the way are. Elon Musk, currently the richest person on Earth, doesn't work any harder than your average person. He certainly isn't that smart, either. It's all about knowing the right people and making the right connections as that's what's going to take you to the top. And what better place to do that than the cantus (a typical activity of Dutch fraternities in which members get together to drink beer and sing traditional songs, Ed.)?
So, let's learn something from the slackers and do the bare minimum. Live, make friends, participate in committees and boards, hustle, attend black tie parties, go on skiing trips, volunteer in bars, go to festivals like Lowlands and Pinkpop, etc etc etc. Maybe someday I'll manage to do that too.
See you at the meeting (please find the to-do list enclosed),