Taking a hike through a metaphorical landscape of my attempts to get it together

One girl’s expedition into the unfamiliar world of being a fully functioning member of society

More stories from Faith Hultman


For the entirety of the semester I’ve been trying to get it together. I’ve eaten three meals a day, woken up at 6 a.m. and dressed like Harry Styles. Am I any more a contributing member of society than I was in January? I’m not sure.

The most successful techniques for feeling like my life was on the up-and-up, which I would recommend to anyone who asked, were definitely dressing like Harry Styles, making if-then goals and building a memory palace.

Find a fashion icon and pretend to be them. Force your friends to be your paparazzi for a week. You’ll feel like you deserve the world, which is an essential step in becoming the together person you want to be.

Make some easy goals that don’t take a lot of brainpower. If your homework isn’t finished by 7 p.m., then you’ll start it immediately and not take a break until it’s done. Cutting out unnecessary decision-making power with if-then goals helped me a ton.

Build a memory palace I can still recall the locations and functions of the different regions of the brain with perfect clarity, despite my complete lack of interest in the subject. Why? They’re in my memory palace, sitting on an imaginary table.

I would not recommend waking up unnecessarily early, living by generic inspirational quotes or wearing eyeliner in an effort to be a fully functioning adult.

I had to wake up super early two weeks in a row. The first week I tried for 7 a.m. but failed miserably, so because I’m not a quitter, I woke up at 6 a.m. the whole next week. It was awful. I had to enlist my friend who lives in a different time zone to call me and wake me up. I was probably less successful just because I didn’t sleep that week.

The generic inspirational quotes were more a joke than anything else. I felt like I was swimming in a sea of meaningless language for the entire week, so at least I was semi-inspired to contemplate the existential implications of the devolution of language in a modern world.

After wearing eyeliner for a week and smearing it across my face every day, I decided that, because patriarchal standards exist that make society deem women less professional the less makeup they wear, I could not, on a moral level, play into those same unjust standards in an effort to obtain success.

I’m glad I made these efforts. I have a better idea of ways to proceed in my continuing efforts to be the person I want to be, but I’m definitely not there yet. My room is still a mess, I dumped pancake mix on the floor just this morning and I have numerous essays due tomorrow that I haven’t started.

As Getting It Together comes to a close, it is my hope someone, somewhere in the wider world of the internet was inspired to pursue their ideal self in a broader and more creative capacity.