November 12, 2021 | LIFE | By Finn Mott | Illustration by Iris Guo


It is easy to ponder our individuality. It is much harder to decipher whether we can truly ever be separate from the fabric of the universe. How might my mind overcome the concept that we are simply sinking infinitely in total darkness, orbiting an enormous ball of magma? What does this mean for my meaning as human and how do I fit into the larger framework of the great beyond? 

I must admit that I get nauseous from staring at the constructions of being, and sometimes it seems like the depths of my mind are a universe all on their own. To be clearer, the wallpaper of reality gives me wisteria. For even in clarity it seems the only truth is confusion, but maybe that is just it. Maybe that is the very thing that defines our existence: the nothing. 

We live in an age surrounded by cement and urban infrastructure. Our days are overflowing with artificially manifested ideas, things, and projections. Our lives exist on a small rectangular device and for most of the day we stare at the same off-white colored wallpaper. In movies we watch the same storyline unfold over and over. On social media we scroll through thousands of the same photos. Every conversation goes the same way. It feels as if we have gotten too comfortable with our realities’ wallpapers. 

Hence the question becomes: how do we tear down the wallpaper? How do we grasp meaning from our impermanent, yet intensely structured existence? 

The other day I decided to do my homework outside and as I sat in the dying grass with dead leaves falling all around me, I realized something quite disturbing. The most natural parts of our daily lives are, in essence, the most artificial and the most foreign are, by definition, the most natural. It is so easy to get caught up in the repeating wallpapers we see over and over in our daily routine our eyes and minds forget what is looks like and means to be real. 

This dilemma struck me, and I began to wonder what elements in my life were not framed by a wallpaper painted by society. Lucky for us, we have a unique type of power that most other animals do not have. We have the power to change our realities. 

For the last week I have been actively striving to be more present in my own wallpaper instead of holding hands with the one that the world provides me on a silver platter. Although we are miscellaneous beings floating through the middle of absent space, we do have a purpose here on the earth.

Not only do we owe it to ourselves to live the most “grounded” reality possible, but we owe it to each other to remind ourselves that not all wallpapers are beautiful. It is okay to tear down what society places upon our shoulders and replace it with what is true. 

Challenge your being to see what lies beneath the framework of America. Challenge your eyes to embrace the impermanence of existence. College might be a historical structure set to instruct us on the same wavelengths of thought, but we all can choose to paint a new lens of reality. Your wallpaper of reality should not be cornered by the pressures of society to see a certain projection of being. 

Tear down the fabric of expectation and replace it with divergence, vulnerability, and authenticity. Your wallpaper should be painted by you and only you. Do not give the world permission to steal your reality from you! 

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