We’re All A Little “Boxy” Here: Individualism at Washington

By Kim-Vi Sweetman
Staff Columnist

“I think this campus is getting weirder,” said a random guy last week as I was walking out of Hodson Hall. This comment may or may not have been aimed in my general direction, as I was wearing a fedora with a large feather, tall black boots, and a vest. It may have been aimed at the campus as a whole, provoked by an earlier occurrence. I don’t really know, nor do I really care, because it just makes me happy to hear that someone thinks the campus is “getting weirder.” We could all do to open up our boxes a little.

Those who know me know that, even though I might look like a stereotypical art or English major, I’m actually a biology major, with a pre-veterinary track. To those who don’t know me, I look very much like an art or English major. It’s kind of a point of personal pride to get that look in new science classes. The look that says, “What are you doing here?” I had a professor poke fun at my ripped jeans, button-covered fedora, and tie-dyed hair during my freshman year biology course. I poked right back. I like pushing people just a little bit outside of their comfort zone.

We’re all open experiments, in a manner of speaking. We interact with the world around us, taking in new experiences and giving back opinions. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Think outside the box?” The box is your mindset, in addition to a comfort zone. You could even think of it as your metaphorical toolbox, with all of the skills and tools you’ve learned stashed inside. So by all means, have yourself a cozy little box! Just remember to keep the lid open to let new experiences in.

“It’s the saddest thing ever!” said a girl, laughing as she shows off a video on her phone. I feel sad for a person I’ve never even met, whose name I don’t even know. I feel sad because whoever is the “saddest thing ever” had half a dozen college students laughing at her over a video taken on a phone. A video this girl isn’t even aware exists. So what’s the “saddest thing ever” about this girl, any way? The only thing I’m coming up with is the fact that she has ADHD, because it’s what her suitemate kept harping on. Really, when you think about it, it’s nothing to be sad about.

We’re a society that allows for differences (or at least, we like to think that we are). We’re a society that is constantly thinking about what is politically correct, how far is too far, and what we should call each other. Most importantly, here at Washington College we’re a society built on helping each other. So, honestly, what’s so sad about one girl with ADHD?

To the girl with the video, I’m issuing you a challenge: be your suitemate’s friend. Get out of your little box. Each person has so much to offer the world if only the world will let him or her.

“I think this campus is getting weirder.” I should hope so, because if last week was any indication, we could all use a little “weird” in our lives!

“I want to be where I don’t need to hide myself/And remain there ‘til the end of time.” These are song lyrics from “Where There Is Light” by VNV Nation. For the past two years, WC has been such a place for me. A place where I can feel good about being a science major who looks like an arts major and writes like an English major. A place where I can meet all kinds of people, from all walks of life. I hope it can continue to be such a place for other students, too.

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