Catch-22

“Colonel Cathcart was impervious to absolutes. He could measure his own progress only in relationship to others, and his idea of excellence was to do something at least as well as all the men his own age who were doing the same thing better. The fact that there were thousands of men his own age and older who had not even attained the rank of major enlivened him with foppish delight in his own remarkable worth; on the other hand, the fact that there were men of how own age and younger who were already generals contaminated him with an agonizing sense of failure and made him gnaw at his fingernails with an unappeasable anxiety that was even more intense than Hungry Joe’s”
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Although there are many more great quotations from Catch-22, this one pretty much sums up my entire high school career. We all compare our test grades and secretly feel both incredible for getting higher than some people and dismal for getting a lower score than other people. We talk about colleges and are elated when it turns out that we got in to a certain school, and then we feel bad when the school we got into wasn’t as good as the school someone else got into.

We all go crazy by comparing ourselves, and all of our conversations are either about what colleges different people got into, or they are about how annoyed we are that all of our conversations are about what colleges different people got into.

I’m so sick of this craziness, and I’m sick of all of these comparisons that are going on. Thankfully, I got into the college of my dreams, and since the college of my dreams is relatively unknown at my school, I’m out of the whole college comparison craziness right now. No one except for my friends care that I got in, and they only care because they are genuinely happy for me, not because they are jealous.

I just hope that college and life in general isn’t like that. I don’t want to be Colonel Cathcart. I don’t want to be any character from Catch-22 because, while they are hilarious, they are all a little bit crazy. Except for Yossarian. He’s crazy, but crazy in a sane way. I know that doesn’t make sense at all, but I guess that’s how Catch-22 is.

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5 thoughts on “Catch-22

  1. In my experience, college wasn’t like that at all. People seemed to care mostly about getting their work done and having a good time (usually in that order). That is – until your senior year when people start talking about where they were accepted to grad school. 🙂 But when I was in high school, we had this huge roll of paper where all of the seniors wrote which school (or branch of the military) they were going to, whereas in college, if it was talked about at all it was one on one with someone making small talk – not out on display for the whole campus to see.

    • We have something like that too! Except it’s sort of the opposite, since we have an entire wall where people post their rejection letters. It’s supposed to bring people together and help them see that they aren’t the only ones who got rejected, since the students care so much about colleges.
      I’m glad that college won’t be like that though! Or at least, except for senior year 🙂

  2. I didn’t find university to be like that, and I certainly don’t think life is like that, not for the most part anyway. 🙂
    I really do love Catch 22 though, it just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside just reading even the tiniest bit of it. Which is odd, because it isn’t a warm and fuzzy book, hahahaa.

    • That’s good, because it all gets a little crazy sometimes in my school.
      I know what you mean, and it is a great book. I’m in the middle of reading it for the second time now, and it’s just one of those books that you can pick up whenever and then can never put down.

      • Yeah it is one of those books, which is why it is always dangerous when I pick it up during a period of time where I am super busy and have little time to spare, hahahaha 😛

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