I have been deliberately open and honest about my feelings and intentions. To be otherwise would suggest that they are shameful, wrong or disagreeable to me. I will never let another person invalidate the way I feel. I will never be ashamed to be who I am. And I will never let my story be silenced so long as it is one that I’m willing to share.
But at the same time, I have not always been forward about myself. I have never declined to answer questions about my experiences when asked, but as you’ve probably learned about me in just these few sentences, I do kind of enjoy being fairly vague and mysterious about myself. There’s an immense love of stories to blame for that, but let me be forthcoming. The following is a list of facts about the past year of my life — the things that I have learned and the things that I feel:
I applied to transfer to another university.
Every day I wish I could wake up and have the chance to make a different decision than the one I did.
I wish I had never chosen to come to Georgetown.
I do not know who I am, and I have only fleeting inklings of who I would like to be.
I have continuously felt isolated, lonely and miserable from being stuck on a campus and in a city full of people who are single-mindedly driven to academic and professional success at the cost of appreciating that life is not simply how many figures you make or how many As are on your college transcript. Life is, indeed, any but that.
I recognize that everything is not as black and white as I try to make it out to be.
There is an immensely strong chance that, despite my hard work and personal troubles, I will be resigned to spending another year at this school — maybe even another two after that, due to financial restrictions.
So there. That’s me in a nutshell. And while I have spent the past year doing my best not to let this completely unhealthy environment collapse my carefully constructed mental stability, I’ve been wondering: what about you? What about you, students of Georgetown? Who are you, and what are your stories? No, not your resume for God’s sake, but the real stuff — the stuff that actually matters, the things that define you, the things that make you who you are, the (maybe not so) dark secrets that you keep to yourself for fear of being branded and cast out from this insanely idiotic, toxic, bubbly, happy, stressed-but-thriving, dying-with-a-smile Georgetown facade that everyone seems to be buying into. What are those?
Can we just cut the crap for five seconds and have an honest conversation?
Because if I have to stay at this school for another one to three years, I’m going to need your help. I’m going to need you to stop pretending that everything is okay all the time when sometimes it’s just really, really not. I’m going to need you to stop saying “good” when I ask you how you are. I’m going to need you to stop pretending like you don’t see me, or that you don’t even know me when I see you on my way to class, because frankly, I haven’t decided which one is more insulting. I’m really good with names and faces, people. I take it personally. And lastly, I’m going to need you to put that textbook down every once and a while and do something for yourself, do something purely because you enjoy it and because it brings you happiness.
The world is beyond these gates. It’s beyond this city, it’s beyond you and me, and you’re missing out on it because you want to sit in the library all night convincing yourself that studying all the time is all going to pay off in the future, that happiness comes later. It doesn’t. The future is now, we’re living in it, and the only way it gets better is if we stop worrying all the time, stop micromanaging the steps to get there, and just live.
Cyrena Touros is a rising sophomore in the College. The Outsider appears every other Wednesday.
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