Surviving Vassar: The Life of One Exploring Transfer Student

This is my life. Except for all that smiling.

I’ve been here three weeks and three days now.  It feels like three years.  It’s an intensive schedule of reading, class, writing and meetings to discuss the previous three things.  We live in a dorm together, where we eat every meal together, with our professors. I feel like this is either a sociology experiment or there are hidden cameras and you could see my face on MTV any moment. There is no free time, no relaxing, just working. I am beginning to see both the benefits and the frustrations of an “elite” education.  I do know now why these people rule the world.  If this is the kind of pressure you endure as an undergrad I am pretty sure corporate life feels normal.

I am learning a lot. Critical thinking and relevant response. I am realizing that many of us were raised to never question, to not wonder, to not look critically at the problems in front of us and explore the deepest root of the problem.

I also realize that a lot of wealthy people meet in philanthropic committees to attempt to address the ails of this world, when really we should be empowering those subject to the ails to meet together and form their own action points on the things that ail them.  We have little perspective looking from the top down at a problem, but if we can allow someone to explain to us what it looks like from the bottom, perhaps we can help figure out where the ladder up is.

I am also learning to love Virginia Woolf.  And other such ridiculous writings.  There is beautiful prose to be found in the desperate realizations of modernist writers. All I can do is thank God that I was not an intellectual in the early 1900’s – to have classrooms of people analyzing your mental condition, gender, socioeconomic status, the city you lived in and it’s impact on your world view and this writing… No thanks.  I think I’ll just blog and be judged by a jury of my peers.

So that’s it.  I have rarely felt emotionally many of the things I have felt here.  Asking hard questions and exposing yourself to a board of academics and students can leave you feeling raw and jagged.  Especially in a class that looks like the UN and is discussing gender and race.  I am doing my best to open my heart wide and leave no thing un-considered.  The only way to grow is to honestly assess where we are, and move forward willing to learn what we need to learn to grow deeper, more aware, more considerate. It is likely to be a slow journey.  No “your best life now” here.  Just the real hard work of seeing things as they are and making a decision to acknowledge them and move forward changed by it.

Also.  Read your books.  Write your papers.  Analyze MORE critically. Ask MORE questions.  There’s always MORE.  In light of that.  I have work to do.  Two more weeks worth.








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