Memory is a funny thing. Remembering things, or not, is one of the most important parts of college. That little piece of information you fail to recall that knocks your 90 down to an 89 is frustrating but also essential. It separates the important from the mundane. As a person, I think I’m defined by my history and the memories that I take out of it. Many conversations that I’ve had since coming to Trinity have revolved around my life in London; I’ve spent a lot of time recounting fun memories from my childhood, comparing and contrasting with those of you raised here either in Texas or elsewhere in the States.
Many Trinity students use their memory effectively to succeed in class. Of course, this requires studying, effort and a time commitment to learn what your professors have taught you. It’s useful information. It leads to good grades and to a better GPA, both of which make your parents happier with you “” which tends to make the individual happier too. Remembering useful and important things makes sense.
Unless you’re me. I remember the useless things. I struggle to remember the “important” things “” like writing this article, a very important task that I completely forgot about until midway through Monday when my darling editor sent me a stern reminder that it needed to be done… Sorry Claire. But it got me thinking about this: Why can’t I remember the important things?
I can name pretty much every single Manchester United result from August 2006 to the present day, and who scored. This is an inherently useless skill. Telling you that Manchester United defeated Liverpool 1-0 in 2007 with a last minute goal from John O’Shea is not something that is really gonna help me later in life. But hey, it’s something I will never forget. I also use soccer to remember other events in my life. My mum will always say, “Ah yes, we were at your grandmother’s celebrating [insert random family gathering here]” and I’ll reply “Ah yes, I remember, we beat Man City 4-3 that day.” No idea why. That’s just how my brain works.
I know six different pledge class orders across four different Trinity sororities. I was trying to prove that learning a PCO during orientation is not actually that hard. Now I can’t bump into one of my friends in those social groups without wanting to clap along with them and chant their PCO. I don’t get it. I have no reason to remember these things, but they stick in my mind so clearly.
I’m very good at remembering song lyrics. I can’t for the life of me tell you how to generate the standard deviation of a set of numbers, which Dr. Burr so patiently taught me a year ago, but I know every word to Busta Rhymes’ verse on Chris Brown’s 2011 hit “Look At Me Now.” Similar to learning PCOs, my memory for things that come in a specific order is pretty good. Rhyme helps. Maybe I just need to condense all my academic information into the form of rhyming couplets, set it to music and then BANG I’ll have that 4.0 GPA in no time…
I guess a lot of it comes down to putting your mind to it. When a class truly inspires me and gets me excited with its content, I can memorise things about it. I’m able to remember a second language (German) “” most of the time “” as I’ve always found conversing with as many people as possible important. Maybe I just need to convince myself of the unimportance of rap lyrics, soccer scores and sorority PCOs… Then I can forget them and clear up space for German grammar, historical facts about American sport, info about the Peoples of Russia and ways to improve my Public Speaking.
…Who am I kidding? I can’t wait to learn every word to Kanye West’s new album, this week’s Man United scores and next year’s new PCOs… Those are essential pieces of information.