The Hourglass

Glass Half Empty

Amanda Yep '20, Staff Writer

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Originally featured in the January/February 2018 Edition

Optimism is defined as a disposition to look on the more favorable side of conditions and to assume the most favorable outcome. Pessimism is defined as the tendency to anticipate only undesirable results and conditions. If someone is pessimistic, they accept and believe that occurrences in life will be unfavorable, and they will expect negative outcomes before any favorable results. While both of these outlooks are unrealistic, the psychology of pessimism in particular might actually result in more happiness within the Baldwin community.
Pessimism and optimism at Baldwin are noticeable in students’ lives every day. At Baldwin, students may take a test or hand in an essay and hope for the best. They believe in their talent and ability to achieve and be successful in their endeavors.
Others might hand in their assignment or exam and mentally prepare themselves for the worst. They obsess over the fact that their essay contained some grammatical errors, their thesis wasn’t strong enough, they didn’t analyze their quotes effectively.
In some ways, pessimism is a positive attribute, since it offers people excuses when they are let down and makes their successes seem even more surprising and appreciated.
“Pessimism protects me from disappointment. I feel like in Baldwin’s academic environment, pessimism is something I need to equip myself with,” Bella Aldrete ‘20 said. In many ways, pessimism can offer a helping hand or a shield for people in order to prepare themselves for less-than-ideal happenings. If one is optimistic all of the time, then there is more room for disappointment when things do not work out well.
Yes, it may seem cynical, a group of teenagers jaded enough to brace themselves for the worst. But in a community in which the expectations are high and the results are higher, sometimes students need the chance to feel as though their tiny win was a home-run or their major loss was just an obstacle in the grand scheme of their career as a student.

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Glass Half Empty