[Content note: depression, suicide, self-harm, eating disorders, sexual assault]
This is a long and intensely personal post about college, which I graduated from today. I’m writing it more for myself than for you, so feel free to skip it if you come here mainly for the political rants and psychological babble.
A few weeks ago I got a Facebook invite about a book that some students were compiling. Any current Northwestern senior could contribute a letter, anonymous or not, about their four years at Northwestern, addressed either to themselves four years ago or four years from now. This fall, incoming freshman will receive a copy of the book.
I waffled for a few weeks, finally convinced myself that I had nothing to say, and let the deadline pass.
Of course, that’s not true. I had plenty to say, but I knew that if, four years ago, I had received a letter from my current self about my college experience, I would’ve packed back up and ran the fuck away. Why do that to an innocent freshman?
If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
I’ve heard this for my entire life, and it’s the little voice in my head that so often keeps me silent. But usually I can ignore it, which is why this blog exists.
This time it worked. While I won’t say that I have nothing nice to say about my four years at Northwestern, most of it is not very nice. So I stayed silent.
But now it’s my graduation day, and, as with everything else in my life, I can’t fully process or move on from these four years without writing about them. Besides, this is my blog, not anyone’s book meant to provide inspiration and guidance to a new generation of Northwestern students. This space is mine, and this is the letter I didn’t write.