Life is like an elevator. We all have different floor levels that we’re trying to get to. Through all of our life accomplishments, many of us aim toward our passions, goals, and ideal or dream career. In this elevator of opportunity, twelve people cram into this tiny space with a destination in mind. Oh, and don’t forget about that one guy who tried to squeeze in… but just didn’t make the cut. It looks like he’s going to have to wait- sure, he’ll be set back behind the others, but he’ll still get his chance to cross the threshold into that sparkling silver elevator. Although we might be heading toward the same place or other, we’re all starting on equal grounds- LEVEL 1.
There’s no casual conversation at this school that could start with “so how did you get into Michigan?” The student population should be aware by now that everyone must have been hard-working to have been accepted to U of M. We’re starting completely over as equals. Indeed, Hobbes bred the idea that we were born with equivalent potential, but that it’s up to the person of whom they want to become. Some may have been known as the genius of their class while others may have been known for being president of 3 clubs while managing a year-long charity fund to promote clean water in Africa. It’s true… it’s incredible what some can do before even stepping over the threshold to adulthood. One of the ways that counselors pull their perspective students into U of M is by stretching not only the prestige, but the vast network connections. It gives us security that we are going to find job opportunities post-graduation…. But are we really the leaders and the best? Are students who got rejected from prestigious colleges automatically set behind? Not at all. We’re all still equal. As Hobbes ensured, we can go anywhere from where we are today. There aren’t limitations, but obstacles. We’re all on separate paths, determined by the college that we attend. However, absolutely anything is possible… and the key word is possible.
We start at the bottom in education, just like we start at the bottom in sports. In the game of tennis, both players start at “Love, Love”. They’re seemingly equal, right? From prior training to the quality of rackets, they’re not truly starting as equals. In the end, the performance in the moment is what counts. The state of mind, body, and even attitude can truly affect who wins the game. Because of these immeasurable components of equality, “the weakest has strength enough to kill the strongest”. Okay, Hobbes’ perspective is much more drastic than in these terms, but the concept still applies. After all, there’s a reason that people always route for the underdog! Many people today tend to use the slang “kill” as an equivalent of “dominate”. So, in modern day terms, we could technically interpret this idea in a sense that doesn’t involve an axe-murder.
I’m sure you’ve all seen students around campus presenting U of M’s latest top ranking? If not, then yes, you’ve read correctly, folks. Check it out here. “What?! Another ranking!? DUDE! We’re AWESOME!”… Does that established ranking guarantee us a spot for a job over the next person? Nope, not necessarily. Sure, having more prestige to the U of M name gives us a leg up, but how do we really measure equality? For instance, my hall mate’s cousin was accepted to U of M, but had to decline due to financial purposes. Nevertheless, there’s no written rulebook that says that he will receive a lower paying job with a community college degree. The job market is full of equal opportunities, although outcomes are not always accurately depicted. In the name of such injustice, we must carve our own pathways in the job market under Hobbes’ idea that we can’t measure the causes of success and outcomes. Our resources made available or the ones that we seek may or may not be determinants of our life careers. All that we can truly take from this immeasurable idea of equality is that we must strive to continually do better. After all, as Michigan Wolverines, we started from the bottom, and now we’re at the top- (or are we)?