When starting off in a new place full of strange people, nobody ever wants to be the weird one. But over the last few years, one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that being a total and complete weirdo is wholly underrated.
When I first arrived at Georgetown, I made every effort to come across as normal. Forced to dress myself without a uniform for the first time in 12 years, I created my own uniform composed of inoffensive V-necks and jeans. I pretended to enjoy running so that I could join groups making their way to Yates. I studied when everybody else studied, went to Leo’s when everybody else went to Leo’s and got drunk when everybody else got drunk.
Being that normal all the time is exhausting. It’s easy to waste a lot of time and energy trying to fit in; you have to constantly monitor your surroundings to know the right thing to say or do. I spent most of freshman year worried that my new friends would find out exactly how much of an oddball I actually am, and I put a lot of work into being part of the group.
According to my parents, independence has always been my defining characteristic. As a toddler, I would wriggle out of my mom’s grasp to explore the nearest swing set or dog park, just because it was there. I once climbed out of a bathroom window to reach a jungle gym, because it seemed like the most practical route at the time. But freshman year, you wouldn’t catch me climbing through any windows — unless half of my floor had climbed out before me.
But pretending to be someone you aren’t never works out well. (Haven’t you seen Mean Girls or The Little Mermaid?) I found myself acting like the kind of person I normally disliked, but I didn’t want to act differently for fear of losing my new friends.
Eventually, though, my quirks started to slip through the cracks — it’s inevitable when you bottle up an aspect of your personality for long enough. I was surprised to find that it didn’t scare people away. That small bit of encouragement made me more comfortable in my own skin and helped me realize that everyone is a little bit weird in his own way.
That’s what makes life interesting. Would you ever want to be described as the most normal person around? Nope — that person sounds super boring.
Find the friends that you can be your realest, strangest self with. The kind of people that will not only go to a Renaissance festival with you but also dress up and get way too excited about the joust. The people that will sing along to the “Game of Thrones” theme song as if it were performed by cats. The people that will stay up until 3 a.m. reading about grizzly bears to cheer you up after a bad night.
These are the people and the stories that will stay in your mind. When I think about my freshman year, I can tell you that I felt awkward and lonely, but I can’t tell you many specific stories. Until you embrace your quirks for what they are, you won’t be able to find the people whose personalities overlap with yours in the strangest, most unexpected, but best ways.
Don’t be afraid to be weird. The people that will judge you for that aren’t important. The people that really matter are the ones who will not only accept your oddities but also hear your llama noises and raise you a seal clap. Georgetown is a bigger school than you think, and you might be surprised by the ways that other people’s peculiarities complement your own.
After all, it’s been said that love is just compatible weirdness.
Michelle Cassidy is a senior in the College. TAKE IT FROM A SENIOR appears every other Friday in the guide.

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