Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Appreciate What Your Decisions Make You

There was never any particular reason for me to come to Georgetown. I wanted a school in a city with an English Department, and Georgetown was all three. The campus was pretty, my brother went here and people seemed to think it was a good school. Done and done.

I loved it here at first. Then, one unidentifiable day between freshman and sophomore years, I realized that I hated it. It’s hard to say exactly when the change happened – I have always been a woman guided by whims – but I imagine it coincided with the moment I realized that having a diverse student body doesn’t mean that at any given time one can spot seven shades of Polo on Copley Lawn. It could have been when the first of my two brilliant best friends failed out, or it might have been when the same happened to the second. It’s possible that the awakening occurred when I realized the many, many ways, Georgetown fails to live up to its self-proclaimed commitment to social justice, or it might have just been the result of some bad frozen yogurt from Leo’s. Whatever it was, Georgetown was never the same.

For a while, I thought I was doing something wrong. So I did what 6,000 other people did: I overextended myself, stayed up all-night and slept through class. That didn’t do it. I worked hard in five meticulously-chosen classes all week and then drank myself silly all weekend. That didn’t work. Then I withdrew from my friends, stopped leaving the couch and stopped fulfilling obligations. Not surprisingly, that didn’t make me feel like a Hoya, either. I still had no idea how to turn the place where I had grown to love learning into a place I would learn to love.

If I never see another keg of Natty Light in a dimly lit Village B apartment again, it will be too soon. I have never felt like anyone was talking about me when they chanted “We are Georgetown!” and I doubt that I will ever recall these as the best four years of my life. But I sometimes think of what might have happened if I hadn’t come to Georgetown, if I had chosen another school, in another city, with another English Department. And when I do that, I find that for every one thing thing I’ll be thrilled never to see again, there are two instances that make me wonder: “What if I had never.?”

If I had never come to Georgetown, I never would have met Colman cCarthy, a true example of an individual dedicated to the greater good and my personal hero. I never would have learned grace over midnight snacks, never would have met an Irish dancer from India. Never would have been the student of Prof. Jo Golden, Prof. Vince iller, Prof. Ashwini Tambe or Prof. Lori Merish, four individuals whose classes radically changed the way I think, who never discouraged my over-zealous enthusiasm and who, most certainly, know the rain.. Never would have found my voice, never would have realized the importance of self-respect. I couldn’t possibly have met Dr. Porterfield, and I probably wouldn’t have had the pleasure of conversation with Prof. Tim Scarnecchia. I never would have grown as close to my family as I have in these last four years, and I never would have adopted a new fam, whose contributions to my life have been as immeasurable as they have been cherished. I never would have learned to appreciate a life of shambles, nor would I ever would have known the pleasure of a veggie hummus pitawich (RIP). Had it not been for Georgetown, I might never have found myself in Cape Town, and I might never have learned the merit of wandering as a career goal. I might never have known the pain of being on the outside or realized how enriching it is to be crazy in a world of the sane. Hell, if I hadn’t come to Georgetown, I might even be among the sane. But I never would have met Miguel García, Emma Miller, Raffe (just Raffe), ErXym, Jon Mummolo, Nathanael Mokry, Itumeleng Moronyane or Kavena Hambira III. Never would have found bliss in a bungalow. Never would have been this person, in this city, in this life.

And maybe – just maybe – those are reasons enough.

Chrissy A. Balz is a senior in the College. She is a former features editor and guide editor at THE HOYA.

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