Edit Desk: Irritability? Confusion? Headache? You may be experiencing acute ego death


I’m slowly, but surely, realizing that everyone in college is in the midst of a chaotic ego death. 

Let me be clear that I’m exaggerating. Ego death is a psycho-philosophical phenomenon that is complex and seemingly rare in the average teenage mind. Alas, my propensity to be satirical and act as “Doctor Sam” leads me to diagnose us with acute ego death.

But, instead of getting sucked into a sarcastic, only slightly genius rant about the plights of our society, let us go into a quasi-lecture about the adolescent brain I am in no way qualified to give. 

If we think about it rationally, and if I may ask you to look back at your most painful moments (no big deal), then one may find that we feel our worst selves when our mind is at its cognitive and emotional capacities. In my unprofessional opinion, this is an attack and a mere glimpse into a chronic ego death. 

In these moments, our minds are full of thought, specifically conflicting ones—maybe a heavy cry floods from our innermost soul, but somehow we’re laughing hysterically.

In reality, the most severe attacks are compared to transcendence, soul-cleanse or enlightenment of sorts. So why aren’t we embracing these ego attacks? 

I would laugh, audibly, in your face if you came up to me and told me that you exactly know your entire identity and, arguably more importantly, that it doesn’t need to or won’t change. 

I’m tired of people sincerely believing that unfulfilling monotony can be healthy in the long run or that your job title determines your ontology. Embrace the chaos a bit; embrace the ego attack though it seems so unconventional.  

Do we not find ourselves in the watershed moments? The best and worst cries? The best and worst laughter? Maybe, just maybe, we can achieve tranquility in the pandemonium.

In no way am I exempt from these habits. I find unmeasurable comfort in defining, categorizing and choke-holding myself into using obscure vocabulary as a personality trait, defining my persona solely by my sexuality and using medicated anxiety as an excuse for acting as the group historian instead of the euphoric roller coaster enthusiast. But the energy necessary to maintain these facades honestly exhausts me.  

Alas, I come back to this selfish, dramatic idea that teenagers today are hyper-stressed about surviving capitalist schemes, dangerous political schisms and whatever climate change is (I mean, if mother nature learned anything from the therapists emptying our pockets, it’s that we have legitimate fears of change!).

Acute ego death sounds eery, scary and overwhelming. It is. But it’s supposed to be. I argue we need the deciding moments in order to truly live the lives we so deeply analyze at our age.

We should be acknowledging even our most convoluted, complex emotions even if they’re not logical, productive or pragmatic as defined by a world which naturally lacks such things. 

With the medical degree I will likely never earn, I am prescribing acute ego death attacks. Take as needed.

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