This week, Lewis & Clark has launched a motivational campaign promoting a “growth mindset” to emphasize the importance of trying new things, perseverance and challenging and believing in yourself. However, the campaign has experienced numerous setbacks as students have differing understandings of what a “growth mindset” means and they need a new cause to rant about.
“To me, deciding my future is how I will truly experience a growth mindset,” Leigh King ’25 said. “I have been having issues with my family since they do not approve of how I spend my life–but I do not have to put up with their bullshit. I know that whether I pick edibles or dabs, I am going to be fine. It is my path to take.”
Although King is an art major, she initially was planning to major in biochemistry because her parents want her to become a doctor. According to King, after she decided to switch her major to art, her parents worried that she would become “a penniless, stoned hippie,” despite the fact that she has been painting since she was seven. Furthermore, she won second place in her Catholic high school’s art show despite the sexual undertones in her painting that no one noticed.
“I may be a stoned hippie,” said King, “but I still have drive. I will not be penniless.”
While many of us are taught that we should never give up, we are still shunned for failing a test. Although most students at LC would react as if failing a test were the end of the world, Werman Thurman ’26 is one of the few students at LC who laughs in the face of F’s—he just gets a new tattoo to symbolize the struggle, a psychedelic patchwork of failure.
“When you fail a test, it is not the end of the world,” Thurman said. “Tests are stupid anyway. I have so much beautiful art–a leaf, a bud, a dancing bear. Also, many of the common tests we have in class were invented by racist eugenicists. They can’t judge your intelligence.”
While Thurman plans to major in political science, his grade in his Intro to American Politics class has dropped to a D since he failed the last test. He said he feels grateful that he was not the only student to fail the test, as the majority of the class allegedly got D’s and F’s on the test. He is also very proud of his new bong tattoo.
“It’s not my fault that I failed the test,” Thurman said. “I could have cheated, and I could have passed, but then… never mind. We had to write three in-class essays in one hour. There was so little time I could only jot down half of the lyrics of 1989 Taylor’s Version–I had Afroman stuck in my head.”
Carrie Oakey ’27, who is in the same class as Thurman, also failed the test and did not finish writing the three essays. Unlike Thurman, she initially reacted to her failed test score as if it were the end of the world, but after talking to Thurman about the test, she realized that it was not a big deal—as long as it could be a source of personal growth.
“I have not told my parents that I failed the test but if I did, they would probably disown me,” Oakey said. “I will just neglect to tell them and be grateful I’m not the sole loser. It will hardly be the only thing they do not know about me–I mean, speaking of personal growth, you should see my growth setup under my bed.”
Indeed, Professor Interlakner is regarded by students as one of the hardest professors at LC, with his Intro to American Politics class being especially difficult. Rumor has it that no student has gotten an A in this class, except one in 2011 who smoked before every test, prompting many students to follow in that mythical student’s footsteps.
While failure and deciding your life may be considered instrumental in the growth mindset, Rocky Rhodes ’24 believes that the growth mindset is centered around experiencing new things.
“Trying new things is instrumental in growing up,” Rhodes said. “Whether it’s getting a bad grade, losing a friend or smoking your seventh joint of an evening, we grow to learn from experiences.”
Ranked #1 Student for Reefer Madness at LC by The Mossy Log, Rhodes believes that when they smoked their first silly cig as a freshman, everything about them changed.
“The moment I smoked my first joint was when the entirety of myself changed,” Rhodes said. “It was as if I had grown from a seedling to a giant tree. If I had not experienced this moment, I would still be a seedling right now.”
No matter how you interpret the growth mindset, we at the Backdoor can cover your views to highlight what LC’s campaign has excluded. If you are tired of the campaign’s bullshit, read our hot takes on the growth mindset. After all, we are growers, not showers.