Pursuing the Wrong Dream

Elsie Denton

As editor for the Arts and Features section of the Maroon News I get various invitations and offers from up-and-coming artists in music and literature asking to have someone cover their new work. I ignore the vast majority of these, but this summer I received a request from Daria Snodowsky, author of Anatomy of a Boyfriend. Her promotional piece read as follows:

“Random House recently published my young adult novel, Anatomy of a Boyfriend, which is about a high school senior girl’s agonizing choice to attend either the college of her dreams or the college where the ‘man of her dreams’ is attending.”

The promo is cheesy, but it immediately touched on one of my pet peeves; it sets up a choice between deciding to go to a good college or stay with a high school boyfriend, as if the two options were of equal value.

Before I continue I will say that many people will probably accuse me of being unromantic, and it is true, but I do like to consider myself pragmatic. In most cases there is very little to be gained by staying with a young flame instead of pushing yourself into an environment where you can really shine and grow.

High school is a time of transition and choices. You are being presented with a barrage of new experiences, dilemmas and the beginnings of responsibilities. In this chaos you are also trying to find yourself. It is in this atmosphere that people have their first semi-serious relationships. Even though young romances may be very important at the time and teach you about yourself, interacting with others and commitment, they shouldn’t define your life.

We have so much more potential as humans than our ability to fall in love with someone or to lust after one another. Upon graduation from high school there is a whole collage of career opportunities, jobs, life experiences and fascinating interests waiting for each person to explore and develop into their own little niche.

I think (and this is probably true for any age group whether you are a teenager or going through a mid-life crisis) that if you don’t try to pursue your dreams and discover the extent of your potential, it is unlikely that you will be happy. If you are in a relationship that seems to be blocking your growth or impeding your search, the relationship probably is and should be laid aside.

If you pursue your dreams, your first relationships probably won’t be your last, and you should stick with the ones that help you realize how great a person you really can be.

As for Snodowsky and her book, I had her send it to me and read it. I can’t say I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The writing was too colloquial and she overused slang such as “bratsitting” and “craplications” (that is college applications for those of you who don’t know; I didn’t). Her characters were immature and shallow and seemed capable of focusing on only one thing at once. However, the read wasn’t a complete waste of time. Snodowsky wound up wrapping the book up with a moral I could agree with.

The book ends with the main character, Dominique, gazing off into a world filled with possibilities. A world, which in Dominique’s precise words, is “brimming with friends, potential friends, and potential loves.” Even if this ending doesn’t quite match my sentiments, it was a lot closer than I was expecting when I first picked up the book.

If anyone wants to read Anatomy of a Boyfriend, I happen to have a signed copy that I probably won’t be reading again in the foreseeable future and would be glad to pass around.