There is an epidemic in my room called Rocket League.
To paint a picture for those who do not know what Rocket League is, picture a video game mix of FIFA and “Mad Max: Fury Road” hyped up on a 12-pack of Monster. We set up two TVs along with two Xboxes in our common room to facilitate the best and most intense experience. It’s legit.
While I’d love to delve into the sun-damaged “Death Machine” van with a Fez hat and “Batman vs. Superman” flag that I created, there is a greater point to get to.
Rocket League allows players to communicate with one another through the controller’s directional pad (d-pad). All combinations of two taps on the d-pad create a given message, allowing for 16 potential messages. These blurbs can range from compliments to apologies to messages for your team.
One of my roommates customized the messages for his Xbox. Within his messages, he has both “All yours” and “You got it,” but not “I got it.”
Wait. So when I’m playing with total strangers online, how am I supposed to claim that I will attack the ball?
I can’t. I either say nothing and leave potential for miscommunication or tell someone to fetch the ball. I cannot claim responsibility for my team.
As I began to think about this more, I realized it is merely an example of one of my biggest frustrations: people who don’t claim accountability.
It’s easy to deflect blame or pretend like bad situations never happened. But why should you? I don’t remember living in a “Back to the Future” universe with Marty McFly and flux capacitors to go back and change decisions. I have come to realize that it is just better to own up to your decisions.
Of course I’m not proud of all of the choices I have made, continue to make and will make. I’m human. I have still chosen to take on the mentality that I am in charge of my choices and aspire to take the consequences of my choices head on. The way I see it, these opportunities give me the chance to grow, learn and ultimately solve the wrongs I have committed.
While I am a perpetrator of this, I am not alone. The classroom plays hosts to a lot of the deflection of responsibility I see. No matter how much you claim it to be true, none of your professors have it out for you. They give you a syllabus with assignments and due dates. If you can’t meet those expectations, that is on you.
The same idea applies to showing up on time. Any student that has made a morning commute to Mount Carmel campus knows that traffic moves slower than the sloths in “Zootopia.” Everyone has also been on a shuttle destined for main campus that takes a dreaded right turn onto Whitney Avenue towards Whitney Village. If you are capable of simple subtraction, you should be able to figure out a way to arrive to your class on time.
The way I see it, the same goes for busy people that lag behind on their responsibilities. As much as outside obstacles might intervene, there is a level of planning that goes into setting a schedule. If you spread yourself too thin, you have yourself to blame for not properly anticipating the time commitments and residual effects of them. The people involved with your various commitments are not responsible for how you spend your time outside of that group.
The last point that I want to make is that you should also hold other people accountable. If you’re bothered by something someone else is doing, solve it first and then let them know what the problem is. You’re not solving anything by keeping whatever is irritating you secret. If you’re withholding your feelings, information or suggestions from people when you could be helping them, you’re just going to end up in the same scenario again.
I like to think I’m in charge of everything I have control over. Whether it’s on the Rocket League pitch, in the classroom or anywhere in a schedule, take accountability. You can’t avoid your decisions, so you may as well take them head on.