Over the course of my time at Georgetown, I’ve found that I have a difficult time sticking to certain personal goals that I set for myself. These are usually small things — new semester resolutions, so to speak — and I consistently break them. It’s like a cruel joke that I play on myself over and over again.
I wish I could tell you that they are lofty goals (ameliorate the achievement gap, learn to speak another language), but they pale in comparison to some of the things my peers accomplish regularly. I’m looking at you, marathon runners and general go-getter types.
I suppose I should give examples of past failed resolutions. For the sake of both brevity and levity, I’ll focus on two seemingly trivial resolutions from my recent experience.
Resolution A: Thou shalt not wear leggings as pants. They are, in fact, glorified footless tights and really are unsuitable to be worn out of the house unless properly hidden under an exceptionally long shirt.
When I made this resolution, I had yet to fully realize just what a hindrance it is to wear constricting clothing when trying to study, when I doing laundry or when showering had somehow become a second-tier priority. And since the Georgetown community at large seems to have some sort of implicit understanding that donning sweatpants for class is reserved for actual athletes or rare occasions like midterms, I had to find a compromise. In short, I caved. As I write this, I am wearing leggings.
Resolution B: Thou shalt not tweet. I vowed to myself that I would never get a Twitter account. With no shortage of smugness I told myself — and my friends — that it was a great source of personal pride for me, because having a Twitter was this great act of narcissism. “Who would want to know what I am doing all the time? No one! Who even cares? I’m not important!” I cried to my friends, who would raise eyebrows and point to my rather excessive use of hashtags on Facebook — an embarrassing mixing of genres I succumbed to in a last-ditch effort to appear culturally savvy.
Earlier this fall, on the day that Steve Jobs died, I decided that I was tired of being the last one to hear breaking news. Without the advantage of a Twitter feed, I had to wait for actual news outlets to publish the story, or worse, find out from a long-forgotten Facebook friend whose status suddenly read “RIP Steve <3333.” I made a Twitter account that same night.
I took to Twitter with a vengeance, trying to make up for the fact that I was woefully late to this particular Internet party. But my fervor (I was finally using hashtags in their natural habitat) slowed quickly. I felt out of place in the “Twitterverse,” like a fish floundering for followers on the sand.
Whereas the currency of Facebook friendships is often exchanged freely and with little deliberation, following someone on Twitter, even acquaintances with whom I am Facebook friends, felt somehow wrong — like I was trespassing on their own little plot of Twitter land. It is likely that was all in my mind, but I grew disillusioned quickly. Also, neither Ellen DeGeneres nor Mindy Kaling ever responded to a single one of my tweets.
The shiny newness of Twitter dulled for me. I am keeping the account, (how could I go without gems of updates from the likes of the Fug Girls or The Onion?) but I can’t help but be reminded of my irksome earlier conviction that Twitter is silly.
These are two pretty ridiculous examples of personal resolutions I have made and broken. But I’d like to think that despite my shortcomings, they hint at a deeper message about self-acceptance in college.
These four years are huge in terms of growth and personal development. While I may be tempted to feel anxious about my various shortcomings and foibles, I need to remember that I have made a great deal of progress. We shouldn’t forget to cut ourselves some slack once in a while. There is a pressure to have it all together in college (and in life) — or, perhaps more dangerously, to look like you have it all together. But frankly, having it all together, while desirable, sometimes isn’t nearly as fun as sitting on your bed wearing leggings and tweeting at your roommate … who is downstairs at the kitchen table. #IKnowThisMuchIsTrue.
Margaret Delaney is a senior in the College. I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE appears every other Friday.