For today’s column, I decided to take a step away from my usual writing on Silent Sam, the Center for Civil Rights, Boycott UNC and other sociopolitical activism. Tuesday was World Mental Health Day, and I thought it be important to both highlight mental wellness but also apply it to myself and take a breather. I want to use this article to offer my thoughts on an important but often overlooked issue.
I’ve often heard the sentiments that UNC culture is resume-building. While I’m a huge advocate for professional development, this claim alludes to several issues. One could interpret its implications of empty leadership; this normally occurs when people occupy leadership positions without intention to execute duties for the mission that position is supposed to fill, but simply for another bullet point on their resume.
One could also interpret its implications of the competitive glorification of being busy, tired and overworked with the same end goal of more bullet points on a resume. These two interpretations are not mutually exclusive, nor do they provide the full range of reasons people feel the pressure to build a resume.
At UNC, one of the nation’s top public schools, it isn’t unexpected to find a cultural obsession with success.
I make no claim that the desire for success is anything bad. I do, however, strongly believe that the notion of success as directly tied to the length of someone’s resume, deprivation of sleep and lack of any personal or free time is highly flawed and detrimental to students’ mental wellness.