Schmucks in the City–The Problem with Critics

Don’t let the title deceive you. Unlike the majority of critics, I actually thoroughly enjoyed Sex and the City 2. But I’m not here to do a movie critique.

When I walked into the movie theater for the midnight premiere of this film, I was extremely underwhelmed. Including my four friends and I, there were no more than 30 people in the seats. I knew this was a bad sign; even I had lowered expectations for the sequel. Yet I went in with an open mind, prepared for anything my beloved fashionable foursome could bring me.

I doubt, though, that the Hollywood critics went in with the same openmindedness that I did. We all knew it wasn’t going to be the same as the first movie, but they expected it to be bad.

So when these critics went in to their screenings with the mindset of “This isn’t going to be like the first movie,” they immediately started looking for negative aspects of the movie, instead of taking it all in and then critiquing it.

This is a major problem with the American society. We always judge things before we experience them, and these judgments are always based on what we hear from others. This may work differently–and positively–when it comes to consumer product ratings, but when it comes to new experiences, maybe trusting others’ judgment isn’t very beneficial.

My new year’s resolution has stayed the same over the past couple of years:
to try new things regardless of what I’ve heard before or any preconceived notions I have.

That way, I can experience things for myself while still keeping an open mind.

Everyone, from the top movie critics to the average blogger like myself, should consider this. Going into something new and unfamiliar already with negative sentiments will yield a negative result. So if we explore unfamiliar territory, open-minded to the possibilities, it just might be that we don’t agree with those negative things we heard previously.

Life is all about the experience. In order to live life, you must do things on your own with an open mind, and give no consideration to any negativity.

My challenge for you, readers, is to find something that you’ve heard negative things about. Go see Sex & the City 2 or any other negatively-rated movie. Go do something your friends told you is a waste of time.

Ignore the critics.
Experience life for yourself.
You might actually be surprised at the outcome.

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Growing Up Early

This is a response to this article by burkpkrohe, titled “Signs I’m Starting to Become an Adult.”  I highly suggest reading this blog before reading my response, especially if you’re a recent college graduate.

*****

I was never a bad kid. Often my mom recalls (mostly to her coworkers) my behavior as a child. I was easy to manage for the most part, I always made good grades. When I actually did get in trouble, I knew I deserved the consequences of my behavior.

When I entered high school, I immediately indulged in its offerings. I dove head-first into the theatre program, and added 12 other student organizations to my repertoire through those four years. I juggled those with a part-time job, honors classes, and that all-too-important social life. My dedication to my school then transferred into college, where I have filled my resumè with even more extracurriculars, an internship, and community service.

In a nutshell, I’d say I’m a pretty good kid. Well, I try at least.

It wasn’t until this past year that an odd realization hit me. As I was cleaning up after an event planners panel  for PRSSA, one of my panel members asked me what I would be doing for spring break. My response was typical: “Oh nothing. Just working and interning. Nothing exciting.”

She was surprised. No plans? No hitting the beach? No stereotypical guzzle-down-drinks-until-your-body-collapses college parties?
Then she said, “Well, you know what? You’re going to be successful.”

That’s what caught me off guard. I never actually thought that  sacrificing of my personal time would actually bring about success. I then realized that I am an adult now, and act as such. I’ve never done anything within the context of “typical” college activities.

So this brings me back to being the “good kid.”
There’s nothing wrong with being that way, but can becoming an adult early on in life be a bad thing?

One thing I’ve heard from a lot of adults is that they wish they would have done more exciting things in their college years. After I graduate next year, will I start to have those same regrets? Will my over-the-top involvement on campus actually lead to my demise as an adult?

All of the signs of growing up burkpkrohe mentioned in his blog, about ties and weddings and super-detailed Facebook privacy settings, apply to me now, before I have even graduated. I do have a professional image to maintain, yet I still want to go out and be a little crazy at times.

It’s a two-sided reality that I have been facing, probably since before I even started high school.
What I need to do is find a balance. Find a way to wear my professional, upstanding student belt during the day, then switch over to the fun and crazy belt in the evening. (Note: I would be talking about the different “hats” I wear, but I get hat hair really bad.)

I want to know how other people manage this, both college students like myself as well as adults in their professional careers. How do you manage your different belts? Do you have your regrets? What would you have done differently?