For the record…
I often *think* that things are generally not in my nature—I don’t like forced fun, I don’t like contrived reasons to get together, especially if I feel like it’s something that some authority is making me feel like I “should” do—so my snark comes out and I get weirdly antagonistic. I don’t know if I “feel like” going, I don’t know if I want to justify the cost and the time and the…whatever else. Emotional commitment. Dealing with the gnarly New England pollen.
And because I went to Wellesley, there’s always the sort of “measuring up” that goes on (though to be fair, we were doing that to each other as undergrads). Have you been successful enough to match your classmates? Have you done what you wanted with your life? Chances are good you’ll end up in a room talking with some CEO of something or other. Can you stack up to your companions? Is anything less than their level and determination of success indication that you’re the slacker you always suspected you were all along?
Wellesley women, if the concern that you might not ‘measure up’ is affecting you in any way, let me assure you that you are well within your rights to say, “Meh…whatever.” I’m not a mega-executive, I’m still trying to figure out my place in this world, and I just had the privilege of spending some time with a group of dynamic, interesting women who feed each other with their energy and interests. And it ROOOOOOOOOCKED.
I realized that it wasn’t so much that I was going to Wellesley to learn how to be a business executive (and frankly, if I were, I wouldn’t have been a Russian Studies major…I hope this causes no offense to a certain Hodge) as it was that I would have the fortitude to make the changes I needed to make at the time, and the knowledge to make them again and again as life and I danced around each other. And while it was absolutely satisfying to push my academic potential to its limits, for me it was more important to realize that I have the resolve TO tackle challenges, rather than realizing I was smart and could do well in class.
Don’t get me wrong; that’s not a bad thing to know about yourself, either. But Wellesley gave me a chance to change and accept myself like nothing ever did before. And in going back and connecting with my fellow alums (Latin teachers, I apologize), I found myself lucky enough to be in a room full of interesting and engaging women who celebrate each other and feed one another’s positivity. I certainly had a wonderful time seeing the women I was in school with, but I also connected with people I never went to school with, who were there before me or who came after. I met a woman who had just graduated eight days before and came in for reunion; her excitement was palpable, and I know—no matter what decisions she makes—she will land on her feet. I can’t speak to the traditionally-aged student experience, but for the Davis Scholars, it seems that more often than not progress is measured less in terms of what you do after you graduate and more in terms of how far you break from the factors that held you back from attending college in the first place. And once again being around women who have also moved through that was worth every penny, every moment, every vacation hour from work, every moment of self-nagging doubt about how I’m not a CEO or in charge of an agency that manages energy policy or scaling Everest with only my Tevas and a pickaxe made of birch. For all this, I love you, Davis community. See you in five.
For the record…