Waxing on about the pure, ethereal quality of the college experience at Georgetown seems trite, or better yet, forced. Granted that is what writers must do, craft beauty out of the banal, but honestly I never feigned skilled writing. Yet, at the end of the blue and gray road I find myself graduating with an English major, with little direction, an affinity for brand and hopes of changing the world with words. How trite, forced and banal.
That is how it goes on the Hilltop. You take your ideals, stereotypical judgements and moral compass, then try to fit it into the Georgetown mold, with as much success as teaching a mongoose Vivaldi’s “Violin Concerti Op. 3.” However, in this endeavor, I find the jagged, frail beauty of Georgetown. In this sanctimonious institute, situated in the affluence called Northwest Washington, resides a multitude of pent-up passion pushers. We push some passions to their breaking points (think o-chem all you once-bio majors). Others are fortunate to invest their passions into careers, while most of us watch our hot-blooded tenets slowly fizzle into complacency. And here, fellow passion pushers, lies the frail beauty of Georgetown. How many more passions are available for us to try on, each of us, the graduate, the pre-frosh and the regent? Since my arrival here, I have fluctuated between a wannabe bio-ethics advocate, corporate lawyer, inner-city teacher and economist, and even I now talk of directing movies. So where does the beauty fit into this strange, metaphorical ramble? Well, allow me to expand.
Dante wrote that God created the human condition as one of freedom and error, yet we strive to enter into a more perfect relationship with Him because of it. No longer will I be ashamed that I have had four majors, three minors and have tried a new activity each semester during my matriculation because it is merely a reflection of the human condition. I am refining my understanding of existence, not listlessly wandering from passion to passion. God, who has been the only consistent presence and passion in my life, has impressed upon me the importance of malleability.
A sagacious friend taught me a valuable “life lesson” here at Georgetown, sitting in The Tomb’s booth 107, “We are all in constant motion, just as like a charged particle is, our history is, and God is. You can’t measure success at any one time because even time is in constant motion!”
The haphazard beauty that is Georgetown is based upon this constant motion of energy and passion. We pour ourselves into an Ayn Rand novel, as easily as our black stiletto boots. This year I watched one roommate run the Marine Corp marathon, another complete a thesis of magnificent personal profundity, and finally, last week our fourth roommate take her first communion.
Each member of my house has fluctuated from rational adult, to annoying child, to hopeless dreamer, and the rare beauty of these daily transformations is inescapable. I didn’t enter Georgetown a complete person, and won’t exit that way either, but my hope is that life continues to throw me other passion-pushers to enhance my jumbled spectrum. I love that I got to learn about different types of tractors and their economic effects, on how correctly insert a lime in a Corona and what its like to be really kissed.
Entering the University of Southern California four years ago, I would have never pegged myself as a journalist, English major, actress or Washingtonian; but isn’t there a mysterious beauty in that? That is Georgetown’s, or more correctly life’s, loveliness: It’s in constant motion. I am returning to L.A. in a month, excited once again about smog, traffic and the crazies named Jeff, Sandy, Erik, Michael and Taryn Berg, who call me back to a different jagged beauty.
So there it is: my waxing on about college. Somewhat forced, but heartfelt nonetheless. Thanks be to God for the passion-pushers, constant motion of our totality, and The Hoya for putting up with three years of my inconstant attentions. All of your jagged beauty inspires me to continue seeking everyday glimpses of the divine.
Kristen A. Berg is a former member of The Hoya’s editorial board