Opinions, Column

Dear BC, I’m Just Doing It for the Plot

I cut off my hair in a nine-man bathroom. 

People asked me why, and to be honest I cannot think of a single reason I willingly submitted myself to having chunks of hair missing from my head. The only reason that comes to mind, in fact, is that “I did it for the plot.”

Now most people over the age of 30 might think I am absolutely insane for comparing my life to a book or movie, but I am hoping my fellow Gen Z’ers understand my urge to progress the plot.  

When you hear references around campus to “the plot,” they refer to the overall story of one’s life. This phrase most likely comes from the fact that Gen Z was raised by screens—we saw dramatic stories in front of the TV, on Netflix, and on social media, and so we tried to reflect this media in our lives. I personally was placed in front of the TV all day as a child, so I would stay out of trouble while my parents worked. The storylines of 2000s Disney and Nickelodeon shows allowed me to escape my boredom as an only child and instead be immersed in their plots. 

Through TV I developed my life goals, modeled relationships, and even bought several “As Seen On TV” products (off topic, but it shows how much these shows meant to me). Even though I outgrew many kids TV shows in high school, the onset of COVID-19 in my junior year only furthered my admiration of “the plot.” Being locked in my home for a year and change resulted in me constantly binging Netflix and Hulu. Once I was released from my captivity with new “storylines” I wanted to live out, I was not going to waste any time attempting to achieve them. 

Now, every decision I make is to make my life more exciting and dramatic. Instead of playing it safe, I will always take the risk. Pursuing these risks in moderation is a good thing—living life on the edge with no regrets is exciting! Yet, we can hit a point in all our lives where we begin to make choices that result in half our hair being chopped off. 

While talking to my friends about “plots,” I have discovered there is no such thing as a good or bad plot—rather, they exist on a spectrum. They range from “toxic horror story” to “never leaving one’s house or interacting with people.” I’d like to think my “plot” exists somewhere in between the two extremes—though I’m leaning toward “toxic horror story.” If you saw my hair, you would agree. 

Despite some of the regrettable experiences pursuing my plot has brought me, I wouldn’t change it—much to my friends’ dismay. Through my desire to have an exciting plot, I have met amazing people who never make my life boring. I’ve faced challenges in my “plot” that tested my limits, but they ultimately helped me experience the world. Admittedly, I have a lot to learn and so much more living to do, but my life will never be boring—all because I make decisions for the plot. That’s important to me. 

A boring life is a life full of safe choices. Why be safe and content when you can take risks for the sake of taking risks and be immensely happier for it?

Though I’m all for the most exciting plot, don’t be stupid. Simply put, don’t be afraid to make your life an adventure worth telling other people about—but be safe and don’t make it into a segment in Law & Order. Our time at Boston College is limited, so do everything to enrich your plot.

April 13, 2023