On a given Tuesday, LinkedIn Lucy can be found squirreled away deep within the bowels of Columbia Law School, Styrofoam cup in one hand while the other types emails with words like “sanctions” and “university policy” at an unnervingly rapid clip. She doesn’t like to type the words “sexual violence,” but she will if she has to.
Every few minutes, she pauses to take a sip from the Styrofoam cup. There’s no coffee in the cup—just water—but studies have shown that people who visibly drink coffee are perceived to be more motivated than those who do not. A near-ulcer experience in Lucy’s early twenties led her to swear off caffeinated beverages for life, but she does like to keep on top of the cutting edge in professional bullshit, so that Styrofoam cup resolutely accompanies her leaned-in posture wherever she goes.
Lucy has honed her deceptive beverage-receptacle-holding skills since her college days at Brown University, and as a former Brown student, I can attest to the fact that it’s more of a party school than one might think, given the sheer veganity of the place. For awkward students like myself, and, if I may be so bold as to infer, a younger LinkedIn Lucy, the party scene is hugely intimidating. You can either get wasted like everyone else, stuff your face with the weirdly smelling, half-eaten sheet cake in corner of who-the-hell-knows’ dorm room, or just stand there with a cup full of water, hoping that everyone else is too drunk to notice that you don’t know any of the words to songs that necessitate being belted out by sweaty, undulating circles of a capella wannabes.
What? That’s just me, you say? No, trust me, Lucy gets it. She went to Brown.