‘It’s so weird. I keep looking around, and there are so many people I don’t recognize here!”
I must have heard that statement at least five times at the Dis-Orientation toga party in Leo’s last Friday night.
Georgetown’s student body is medium in size, so by senior year, many of us have the perception that we know nearly all our classmates. But I think we forget that we all live in our own mini-Georgetowns, our own worlds within this campus that do not actually include all 1,800 seniors.
We might think that we interact with a lot of different people because we exchange multiple hellos walking across Copley lawn, because we see so many familiar faces on Lau 2, or because we recognize so many acquaintances on a Saturday night at Tombs. But it’s easy to overlook the fact that it’s probably many of the same people we see in these spaces. And we all have places we frequent most – whatever they may be – that make us assume we encounter every student on campus while we’re there, even though that’s not the case. Routine implies some degree of monotony, and by senior year, it’s easy to become complacent.
We’ve established friend groups. We’ve settled into clubs, activities and courses of study, and in the process, we’ve limited ourselves. Day to day, we interact with the same groups of people who are likely (though not definitely) very similar to us. And this isn’t always bad, or wrong — it’s just incomplete.
Hopefully, you weren’t discouraged if you looked around and noticed just how many people you didn’t know at the first Dis-Orientation event on Friday night. Instead, I hope you saw an opportunity in that realization. An opportunity for new friends and new experiences at a time when you may have thought that your Georgetown world was complete.
The Class of 2015 has eight months left as undergraduates on the Hilltop. I hope that we can all spend that time stepping out of our established corners of Georgetown, putting ourselves in the position to meet seniors we wouldn’t have otherwise encountered.
Whether we’re in the performing arts community, play a club sport, take part in a religious organization, work for The Corp, lead ESCAPE trips, serve on an academic council, are part of a cultural group on campus, give tours for Blue & Gray or take part in one of countless activities that I haven’t listed here, we can — and should — spend the rest of this year trying to create new experiences that bring us outside of our established groups and closer together.
I know that breaking from routine can seem daunting. As chair of the Senior Class Committee, I want our organization to plan events that encourage seniors to step outside of their mini-Georgetowns.
More importantly, though, I hope that we can collaborate with different student groups on campus to make this happen. While we plan a lot of our own events on the Senior Class Committee, there are so many great programs that already take place on the Hilltop that few students know about. I consider it part of our responsibility as a committee to highlight various events to all seniors so that smaller groups might reach new audiences.
This is something I know the Senior Class Committee can continue to work toward as an organization, but it is also something we can all practice as individuals.
So let’s say yes when we hear about a new music performance, religious service, club sports event, cultural dinner or offbeat lecture.
Let’s step up and step outside of our established comfortable spaces on campus, seniors. We’ll all be better for it.
Bridget Mullen is a senior in the College. She is chair of the 2015 Senior Class Committee.