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Northcraft: Maybe you're gonna make it

August 29, 2018

As a human with remarkably terrible eyesight, I spend a significant portion of my time considering the fact that, had I been born pre-optometry, I’d be the village’s fumbling Useless Lady. 

 

Alas, as fate would have it, I exist in the era of lenses and Lasik. My excuse for lethargy is not viable. So, it goes.

 

While literal eyesight is somewhat intriguing (and, perhaps, an effective opinion column opener), I’d wager that it’s not nearly as interesting as its metaphorical counterpart. 

 

Where will I be in 4(ish) years?

 

Can I bear this vacant-burning dread of existence while simultaneously feigning adulthood in an inflated bureaucracy that directly profits from my inadequacies? Why are we here? Why am I here?

 

Who…am I…!? 

 

These questions (you know, the little things), and the responses we imagine, are the vision-form at the forefront of most aspiring collegians’ focus. 

 

For new Rockets, these questions are probably more loud and angry than they ever have been.

So! Freshmen, hear me out. With what power/authority/perspective I wield as a senior, I want to offer you some comfort. 

 

My plan, my vision, when I left home, was as clear as that big ol’ letter “E.”  After two years at Toledo, though, I realized that I was very wrong. 

 

I was like you. I got here and didn’t know which way was up. 

 

But then it all started, all at once. I traveled, wrote and read more than I ever had. I listened and watched and learned things, and my vision blurred as what I began to understand complicated, then totally discredited, what I had believed before. 

 

What I believed before was that I wanted to do the Apple Pie thing: marry some guy, have our 2.5 kids and teach English in my hometown. 

 

I had to learn that I’m straight as a rainbow. I had to learn that I only had the strength to leave home because I believed I would return.

 

And that’s a scary space to straddle––when you’ve lost clarity, but need to keep pushing forward.

But recognizing what you don’t know makes you stronger, and I’ve come to believe that the people I most respect, the most intelligent people I’ve met here, are always clawing at the library shelves to learn more.

 

That’s the comfort I offer. 

 

Your beliefs and understanding of the world should blur and clear (and blur) (and clear) as you explore more about yourself, our community and the world.  And it’s OK to laugh at who you were while embracing who you are deciding to become.

 

But the point is, when the Big Stuff gets all muddled, you are going to discover so many wonderful things as the image refocuses. 

 

Let yourself see the way you need to see for now and let yourself change as you need to change. 

 

I mean, who knows? Maybe we all need to be the village’s fumbling Useless Lady for a while.  Maybe it’s a rite of passage. And maybe that’s OK. 

 

And maybe you’re gonna make it. Welcome, new Rockets.

 

Teresa Northcraft is a fourth-year English major.

 

 

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