Fighting for food is pretty standard. Katniss has to hunt down a yummy bunny, battle at the Cornucopia for some sustainable food, and compete for bread sent by sponsors. Saturday morning brunch at any university dining hall is a battle to the death. Omelette? Oh, sorry, let me elbow you in the face so I can get it first. Did you have your eye on that muffin? It’s already in my stomach. You wanted that bagel? Let me punch you in the face with it so I can get more food. The Career tributes defend the Cornucopia with the main supply of food in the arena just like those hungover hungry kids do at Saturday morning brunch in the dining hall. It’s a battlefield out there. I hope Haymitch has prepared you.
Love triangles create drama. Katniss. Peeta. Gale (Liam Hemsworth). So you hooked-up with your best friend, but also hooked-up with your partner from class in front of the entire school at a party? Making out on national television with your fellow tribute is the best way to make your lifelong love jealous. Sorry, Gale, does that hurt? Seeing Katniss fall in love with Peeta while you’re stuck at home watching everyone die? Isn’t that a shame. The same happens to us in college. He isn’t giving you attention? Just hook-up with the boy next to him. It’ll work. But don’t go back and forth. It’s frustrating! Just pick one already. Katniss, I’m talking to you.
Problem solving is an obtained skill. Yes, it might be innate for you super geniuses that are here on full rides, but for the rest of us we must learn how to figure things out on our own. Our high school teachers didn’t prepare us for impossible statistics problems or computer science labs – we must fail and try again until we get it right. The same goes for Katniss in the arena. Those wolf mutts were not just your average Capitol muttations. Katniss had to figure out that they harnessed the essence of the twenty-one other tributes to mess with her head as the final fight broke out. Thinking critically, efficiently, and out of the box is essential to surviving in the arena, just as it is in college.
College is about adaptation, survival, love, growing up, finding yourself, and learning your limits. Similar to the arena or to District 12 in Panem, Katniss must use all of these skills to survive. Yes, our situations might be less life-threatening, but the moral of the story is always the same.
It’s a big arena out there and Katniss, I’m rooting for you. Can’t wait until March 23.