The impending demise of humanity on this planet is becoming a lot to deal with. There are a ton of reasons to be depressed and anxious, but the fact that over the course of just a few hundred years, an incredibly small minority of people who have controlled capital and the means of production have driven humanity to the brink of climate destruction definitely takes the cake. Adding to all of the stressors that exist in our current lives, a culture of grind that emphasizes studying over sleep and working to the point of exhaustion, is that all of this will figuratively and literally wash away. The predatory schemes of student loans will also leave most of us unable to go into the workforce without massive amounts of debt or opportunity to purchase valuable property on the soon-to-be Pittsburgh oceanfront.
This all sounds very bleak, and it is. We live in a mixed-up, muddled-up, shaken-up world. Things do suck. However, in spite of all of that, this is also a time of optimism. My time here at Binghamton University has been emblematic of that.
For how easy it is to be pessimistic because of what we know, there is always the ability to be an optimist because of will — the will to make the most of what we have. Even at the premier public ivy of the North-East-Mid-Atlantic-Southern-Tier-of-New York, there is constantly a need to fight for what is right and what is just. Few things have satisfied that optimistic will more than the organizing I’ve been able to do in Binghamton, mostly by way of the College Progressives and Frances Beal Society. I have only love and appreciation for those I’ve worked with, as well as love and appreciation for all that we have won. I’ve also begun to appreciate and make peace with the fact that many of us won’t stop fighting for justice anytime soon.
To explain what this fight means, there isn’t a better phrasing of it than Buenaventura Durruti’s following words: “We have always lived in slums and holes in the wall. We will know how to accommodate ourselves for a while. For you must not forget that we can also build. It is we who built these palaces and cities, here in Spain and America and everywhere. We, the workers. We can build others to take their places. And better ones. We are not in the least afraid of ruins. We are going to inherit the earth; there is not the slightest doubt about that. The bourgeoisie might blast and ruin its own world before it leaves the stage of history. We carry a new world here, in our hearts. That world is growing in this minute.”
That love extends to how I’ve been able to indulge into the third-biggest component of my personality after cuffing denim and liking Wes Anderson films — music. My time on WHRW 90.5 FM and Binghamton Underground Music Presents has been one full of joy and the constant validation from people I love that the music I like both slaps and bops. That appreciation extends to how I’ve been able to grow as a photojournalist here at Pipe Dream, and how I’ve become certain that it’s what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. There’s a lot to be said with how I’ve been able to cover some truly amazing events and experiences here at BU, but I won’t say much here as I figure my photos can speak for themselves. Neither my love nor appreciation for those things will end here at BU. For all the misery and suffering there is in this world, there is also an immense amount of beauty that surrounds us. That beauty is always something worth fighting for, from how it manifests on the grand scale of existence to the mundane everyday realities of life.
Kojo Senoo is a senior triple-majoring in philosophy, political science and sociology.