As the trees bloom and the spring months dwindle, each day brings me closer to a momentous event in my life — one where I am afraid to mix navy blues with blacks and struggle to try a new flavor of ice cream. This fall, I will be going abroad with Semester at Sea, where I will spend 106 days visiting 11 countries and crossing four continents.
The world and all of its inhabitants loves to use millennials as the punching bag for blame — other generations tend to pin fault on this young, innovative and self-concerned sector of society for its handful of flaws. We have been perceived as lazy, stubborn, arrogant and resistant by other generations, and these allegations can be fought and challenged in numerous ways.
I’ve grown up in a world that is over-sensitized to bodies. As a young girl, I was exposed to billboards over which sprawled airbrushed women in lingerie, commercials featuring flawless goddesses in sensual attire and magazines rife with models sporting the newest trend — each somehow more revealing than the last. I was taught by television, movies and the lyrics on the radio that in order to get the boys I wanted and the friends I needed, I had to dress like everyone else and flaunt my body, because physical beauty was just as important, and sometimes even more important, than the things in my head or in my heart.
We see it all the time here, in the land of acorns and squirrels: A peer sports a backpack covered in pins and buttons boasting their heinous spread of campus involvement, including SPARKS, Student Government, 110% sorority allegiance, SUB, Club Soccer — you get the gist — and drops it down on the seat next to you in your 2:20 class.
Maybe you’ve seen yaks about it, heard chatter about it or been directly affected by its abstract presence, but the stereotypes in our greek community revolving around one “tier system” have simply got to go. For those of you who don’t understand (in which case I either applaud your ability to focus on what’s really important or urge you to get out from the rock you’re living under), the so-called “tier system” is built on the belief that, in Fraternity and Sorority Life, there is a totem-pole style ranking of coolness or widely-known reputation from one sorority/fraternity to another.
Another day, another scroll through your Facebook feed. It’s not long before you stumble upon a controversial video, shared by your lab partner from sophomore year of high school, with over 40 comments from fuming adversaries who evidently think their opinion is superior.
“The next episode of 'Grey’s Anatomy' will play in 15 seconds,” you read on your screen as Netflix churns out the next chapter in the McDreamy saga. Without even having to blink an eye, you are soon watching season 8, episode 12, and wondering how you got here.
We’ve all been there; at a busy party or reunion with family and friends, just trying to make it to the bathroom for a moment of silence when the sister of your aunt’s cousin begins lightly interrogating you and poses the question, “So, do you have a boyfriend?” Here we go again, you think to yourself. And it’s not necessarily the question that bothers you, but the answer you get, regardless of what you tell them.
We see it all the time here, in the land of acorns and squirrels. A peer sports a backpack covered in pins and buttons boasting their heinous spread of campus involvement, including SPARKS, Student Government, 110 percent sorority allegiance (and here’s a thing that bothers me: you statistically cannot be 110 percent anything, so now we’re just being inaccurate. And yes, I do own one, but it doesn’t mean I agree with the diction), SUB, Club Soccer — you get the gist — and drops it down on the seat next to you in your 2:20 p.m. class.