Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Tuesday, June 25, 2024
The Observer

I don’t care about you anymore. Seriously.

I dream of a better Notre Dame society!

I dream of a society that mandates each of its students to wear identification badges on their right breast. The IDs ought not to state one’s medical history, religion or race — those characteristics are irrelevant to the visionary purpose I have in mind. The mandate will be enforced by a reimagined Notre Dame Police Department, in which every officer will carry a pocket-sized copy of du Lac with a bookmark on the page containing this amendment. Instead, the IDs will label everyone by a simple binary: a waste of time (WOT) and not a waste of time (NWOT). 

The culture of my utopian Notre Dame is divided into WOTs and NWOTs, the people of which come in many different forms.

With respect to WOTs, some are wannabe Instagram influencers, whose primary mission is to manufacture proclamations of feigned fondness toward a place or person. It is reported that the line “much love for x” is likely a sign of this group. Others are the super students who “beat the system” of college admissions by excellent test scores but lack any practical, real-life knowledge or skills. The largest defining factor of the WOTs, however, can be described by the saying, “feathers in the wind.” The feathers are people true to their name and only that. They have a characteristic unwillingness to endure any responsibility or burden, mental or physical. Feathers have cut loose their gravitas, any legitimizing moral constitution or professional aspirations so that they might be weightless and readily available for the alluring gales of comfort to cradle them away. In my experience, WOTs — people who are utter wastes of time — have been consistent causes for my annoyance.   

The WOT's counterpart, the NWOT, is rumored to have a radical culture, barbaric, even. It is said that NWOTs engage in ridiculous practices like desiring a relationship based on genuine affection, not utility, prestige or pleasure. NWOTs are embarrassingly not perfect and eager to admit their shortcomings and weaknesses. NWOTs desire to get the most out of their time at Notre Dame by pursuing holistic development. How pitiful! 

Personally, I have encountered an uncharacteristically high number of WOTs, which is why I can illustrate their character so vividly. Their negative effect on my life can be as brief as an unsavory conversation (approximately 20 minutes) or as long as a failed friendship (approximately 211,680 minutes). WOTs come in all shapes, sizes, dorms, states, countries and genders. They are everywhere! It seems as if one who values time effortlessly attracts those who do not. And once a WOT has successfully deceived you into thinking that there could be a genuine mutual exchange, you and your time are doomed. Prepare yourself to sacrifice time and mental capacity in an effort to cultivate that which will never grow.

Unfortunately, I lack the foresight and courage to say the definitive solution: “I don’t care about you anymore.” 

This phrase may appear harsh, but that is the point. As humans, we find ourselves bending over backward to accommodate everything and everyone. It is unnecessarily stressful. Sometimes, there are just some people who are not worth a second of your time. They lack so many, if not all, qualities that are necessary for a healthy relationship, romantic or not. Their decision to waste your time may be due to a lack of maturity or ignorance or outright decision, but the cause is irrelevant.

What matters is you.

I am not calling for widespread selfishness but rather more educated time allocation. Do not hoard all your time for yourself in fear that everybody you encounter will waste it. It is necessary, however, to become more attentive to the specific ways you and another are benefiting each other. Above all, be unwilling to give time to those who will not value it, and be generous in giving time to those who will value it and return it doubly. This may not seem like a groundbreaking realization, but you would be surprised at how inept people are at attending to relationships. Chances are you have been in a toxic relationship, and you certainly have seen toxic people.

Think about it this way: Renouncing care for someone is merely stating the very thing that someone already prescribed for you.  

“I don’t care about you anymore” is a phrase that we all should incorporate more often into our vocabulary. When used in the correct context, it is empowering and final. It is the bane of a supreme disrespect one could commit, namely wasting another’s time. It is a lasting principle that will govern my utopian Notre Dame since it will create an unbreakable barrier between the WOTs and the NWOTs.

Although my vision will not come to fruition because of historical resistance against anything with the word “mandate” in it, I will have to settle for less. For the time being, let us examine our current actions and inhibitions to act. Are we wasting our time on low-quality people? Are we ourselves the low-quality time-waster in question? Do we find ourselves shirking responsibility in exchange for short-term comfort? Who are the people in our lives that value our time and generously give their own? 

Life is short. Use your time wisely. 

Jonah Tran is a first-year at Notre Dame double majoring in Finance and Classics and minoring in Constitutional Studies. He prides himself on sarcasm and being from the free state of Florida. You can contact Jonah by email at jtran5@nd.edu.


Jonah Tran

Jonah Tran is a sophomore at Notre Dame studying finance, classics and constitutional studies. He prides himself on sarcasm and his home — the free state of Florida. You can contact Jonah at jtran5@nd.edu.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.