The W-Curve. A concept brought to our attention by the GCY team. Sure, it makes sense. Anyone can figure out that there are going to be ups and downs in our year. Still, what does the W-Curve look like in action?
Well, let me introduce you to the Stanford Caterpillar.
At Global Launch, a lot of our sessions were held outside in the bipolar San Francisco weather. In our first session, I distinctly remember these small caterpillars that would occasionally drop from the trees overhead. Finding their places on people’s shirts, laps, and heads, these caterpillars were generally welcomed by our Global Cohort, as they were adorable and essentially harmless. These cute crawlers were a crowd favorite for the first couple days of Program Launch.
A few days later, the caterpillars were now common and no longer had a cult following. They still dropped from the heavens occasionally, but they were considered more of a nuisance than they were a blessing. Without fail, most people became annoyed with the abundance of caterpillars in our outdoor sessions. Sneaking in caterpillar pets into indoor seminars was no longer a desirable task for most of the fellows.
By the end of the week, the weather took a huge upwards swing and we found ourselves covered in sweat – and caterpillars. The poor critters couldn’t handle the searing heat of the Californian sun and ended up wasting away in their respective trees. Before we knew it, caterpillars rained from the skies. With their corpses lining the sidewalks, screeches could be heard campus-wide when someone yelled “we’re stepping on the caterpillars!” Unable to avoid the carcasses, we had no choice but to ignore the crunches of the bugs under our shoes as we trudged on to our next classes.
Although this story is gruesome, it accurately depicts the emotions we’ll go through in the next few months. Items of joy will become nuisances, and nuisances will become unbearable. But, unlike the caterpillars, there is hope for us. Our struggles will become our greatest strengths, and we’ll experience obstacles that will help shape our futures.
That’s what the W-Curve is all about.