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Cracks in our veneer

HSBurke's picture

To be honest, it is easy for me to forget that a large piece of our conversation in class Thursday was based upon something that I had written (or more aptly, blubbered,) in my Web Paper.  In that paper, I spoke it like I saw it: through a lens of self-consciousness and doubt, and I called you all “a group of women who are clearly flourishing in this environment.” I don’t mean to sound callous when I say thank you for proving me wrong on that point. But you all did, and I am grateful. When your self-confidence is rock bottom, it’s easy to assume that everyone else is passing you by, standing on a higher level that you can’t even begin to see. After Thursday’s class and our lunch on Friday, it is clear to me now that that’s not necessarily the case. I commend the struggle that we’ve all undertaken – to understand ourselves as 360ers, as learners, as people – because I know that the struggle can be beneficial. Showing each other our cracks and admitting that we don’t have it all together is, in my opinion, something our group needed. Thank you for your honesty. Because, as many of you said during our read around, honesty is what we need to flourish here. 



sara.gladwin's picture

I wonder that too sometimes too MIchaela,

But I am trying to focus on being more "present" in my life, rather then living in the past or the future. I know whatever happens, I have already changed so much in how I look at everything because of these classes.

I think most students at Bryn Mawr feel that everyone else around them is doing better then them. I know I definitely have, on more then one occasion, wondered why I always felt like I was so far behind. Maybe this comes from doing all my homework in the Lusty cup between the hours of 11:30-7am but I realized last semester that everyone else felt exactly as I did- behind. Not just behind, but like everyone else was flourishing but them. I began to wonder, in this environment that is supposed to be so empowering, why so many students felt so helpless and inadequate. We are not even supposed to discuss grades because the assumption is that this will create a competitive atmosphere among students. Instead of being in competition with your peers, you are supposed to be in competition with yourself. But maybe part of the reason we think we are always behind is that we are constantly measuring ourselves up to impossible standards; grades that we have imagined for the people that seem to be flourishing in our eyes. By not discussing certain things with other people, we get stuck in our own world of work. This isn't too say that I do not appreciate the no disscussion about grades policy. But to say that it elminates comeptition would seem silly to me; it fosters a different kind of competition that seems to isolate students from one another. I constantly have to remind myself that the bryn mawr bubble is just a small piece of the whole world, that there is still so much more to my life. I forget that work and Bryn Mawr is not all there is.

It worries me when I encounter so many students on, around or even past their breaking point/stress levels. Sometimes when I hear students talk about how far they feel behind I just want to scoop them all up in a group hug and let them know that it's all going to be okay- we can get through this.

Michaela's picture

I'm so happy that we're

I'm so happy that we're becoming more open with one another--we question in class what we "deserve" to know, and I know I was concerned whether I even "deserve" for any of you to like me or want to be my friend. My default is to feel as though I am the only one feeling the way that I do, or that people won't like me for who I am--I'm grateful that, as you said, that you all don't "have it all together" in the way I feared--that everyone else had some intstruction manual for getting through life that I just never picked up on. I'm glad that we are becoming more friendly and able to talk through even the uncomfortable things, though.

Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I do wonder where our relationships will end--will we, after sharing these unique experiences this semester, stay friends, or will we all just fall out of touch once our official discussion time has ended?