This entry is part of a blog series. Student academic peer coaches were asked to read and discuss a book of their choice. They were then encouraged to write about their connections to the book. Recent graduate Sophia Strommen and junior Cal James are the guest authors of this post and what follows is their reactions to John Green’s Looking for Alaska.


Sophia’s thoughts:

I find it difficult to discuss the concept of The Great Perhaps without first explaining The Labyrinth. If we think of a labyrinth as a maze of twists and turns designed to get us lost, we can assume that being outside of the labyrinth is more desirable than being inside of it. The question that I have is: What is the labyrinth, and what do we achieve by escaping it?

To me, The Labyrinth represents the journey through life. Upon entering this world, we search for our purpose in life. As we grow, we gain knowledge, skills, interests, and traits that make us into who we are. We create goals that we wish to fulfil, and we spend our lives trying to figure out our place in life, and how to reach our full potential— The Great Perhaps. I believe that everyone has their own unique Great Perhaps, which is shaped by their path through the labyrinth. It is our experiences in life that mold us into who we are, and who we would like to become.

For me personally, my labyrinth has been one with many twists and turns. Despite these challenges, I have learned resilience and allowed my experiences to make me into a better person. I understand that everyone faces obstacles in life, but I believe that through our hardships, as well as our triumphs, we become the people we are destined to be in life, and we fulfill our own unique Great Perhaps.

Cal’s thoughts:

In my opinion The Great Perhaps means that in everything we do in life there is going to be many outcomes. Nothing in life can completely go the way they are planned. You run into problems, improvise, try again, and in the end you hope for the best. In almost every aspect of life the outcome is determined by the income. If you are lazy, procrastinate, and don’t put any effort into doing your best, then you can expect to have a bad outcome. If you work hard, give 100%, and have a positive attitude, then most likely you will have a good outcome. I have heard a quote many times…”Nothing in life is unearned,” and I think John Green wanted us to see this through The Great Perhaps. Unless you can see the future you can never really know what’s going to happen next in life (The Great Perhaps), but everyone can prepare. It’s up to you to determine how much you are ready for what lies ahead.

5.2.jpgThis applies in my life in many ways, but the best connection I can make is with sports. If you put in the work outside of the season, then you can expect positive results. This includes lifting, speed training, cardio, etc. If you are willing to put in the time it narrows down the outcomes until they are only positive. This is what John Green wanted us to see….put in the effort into whatever you decide to do in life and don’t put the future to chance. Shape your own future to what you want it to be!


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