Superlatives are the worst

Photo: Genessa Gutzait· The Sentry

Photo: Genessa Gutzait· The Sentry

Welcome to our last issue of the semester—our annual Best/Worst issue, where we rank various aspects of the year, our school, and life with various superlatives. This issue is meant to be a fun, light-hearted wrap up to the year and give the students a taste of our opinions on it. And this issue is just that—opinions.

Although I find the Best/Worst issue fun and entertaining, I generally don’t really like superlatives because they compare things to each other that don’t need comparing, set unreachable bars, and they leave no room for improvement or change.

This semester I have been taking six classes, working as Editor-in-Chief for The Sentry, parenting two large dogs, looking for post-graduation employment, going on various trips, and struggling to maintain a work/school/life balance. Have I been doing my best in all this? No. Have I been doing my worst? Also, no.

Somehow, we have trained people to think that if you’re not doing your best, then you’re not doing good enough. That is simply not the case. You can do good, and you can do better, but you can’t do your best. Superlatives, the vast majority of the time, are unattainable. And if you already think you are doing your best, how could you get any better?

So while we are writing articles in this issue in which we deem things to be the “best,” “worst,” “tastiest,” “dumbest,” or “weirdest,” just know that it isn’t really true. They are simply things that are good, bad, tasty, dumb, and weird.

And as we head into finals week, remember that you don’t have to do your best. Aim to improve, aim to do better, but don’t set a limit for yourself, and don’t reach for a superlative that doesn’t really exist.

Just do what you can, look at what you have done, be proud, and continue improving.

Tessa Blair
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