VIEWPOINT: Learn to Love the ‘In-Betweens’

JESUS RODRIGUEZ/THE HOYA

JESUS RODRIGUEZ/THE HOYA

I am terribly afraid of the “in-betweens” in life — the gray spaces: having one foot in the door, one foot out and not really belonging anywhere. Yet, that is exactly where I found myself when I transferred to Georgetown my sophomore year.

After I made the decision to transfer, I spent the summer of 2014 lingering between schools. After being waitlisted, extended waitlisted and then granted spring admittance, it was a miracle when I received a call from the Office of Admissions telling me I could attend Georgetown for the fall semester, just a few short days before classes started.

Needless to say, I arrived on campus frazzled, overwhelmed and thinking I did not belong. In my mind, I was not smart enough, had not accomplished as much as my classmates and was under the impression that no one wanted to be friends with a transfer student — a waitlisted transfer student at that.

Though I met some nice people during my first semester, I did not have a set social group or feel as though I was part of the community. I joined the clubs I thought would help me with my aspiring political career, rather than ones I would thoroughly enjoy. I missed the small classes at my first school and the close relationships I had developed with my professors. I called my mom, crying, multiple times a day and spent too many weekend nights watching reruns of “The West Wing” alone in my dorm room.

In theory, everything about Georgetown was better than my first school. Yet, I had come all this way, so close to where I wanted to be, only to still fall short. I knew that it was up to me to break out of the halfway point: The only way to find my place was to completely immerse myself in all aspects of student life, no matter how uncomfortable it would be at first.

I became more involved with the Georgetown University Student Association, utilized the incredible resources at GU Politics, signed up for more shifts for my on-campus job and became a frequent guest at my professors’ office hours.

It was through my deeper involvement that I developed the incredibly meaningful relationships that transformed campus from a place where I felt alienated into my home. I did not meet people who I could just have fun with on the weekends, but the most kind-hearted and loyal friends. They challenged me to think differently and dared me to stray from the ordinary.

Some of my professors have also been true blessings during my time at Georgetown — always supportive, always encouraging and always available with an open door. It would be impossible to count all the ways that they have carried me through a difficult time or provided me with the parental guidance I missed, being over 3,000 miles away from home.

When I think about leaving the Hilltop next year, it is the distance from the people I love that will be the hardest adjustment. I will miss bumping into friends, administrators and teachers as I run around campus, impromptu dinners on M Street, late night Vittles runs and just being surrounded by the most incredible support system.

As graduation has drawn closer and closer, the feeling of being in between has returned quite intensely. Part of this is due to the uncertainty of the future. Though I am excited for my next challenge, I am not ready to leave behind the people, the memories or the feeling of belonging.

When I return home tomorrow, I know I will leave as a better person than who I was when I first walked through the front gates three years ago. Georgetown has tested my limits, but it has also taught me how to turn my weaknesses and insecurities into motivation to work harder and be better. It is here I learned the true meaning of compassion. Difficult times are inevitable, but we have all experienced suffering before in different forms and can guide each other out, hand in hand.

And because of this, part of me will always be at Georgetown.  One foot in the door and one foot out, to anchor me in the place I hold dear, but also to push me in a new direction.  I still remain anxious in gray spaces. But this, I think, is the one place where I can find solace in lingering in between for a long time to come.

Samantha Granville is a senior in the College.

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One Comment

  1. Enushe Khan says:

    You are a blessing to Georgetown and my life! <3 I'm a proud friend!

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