Finding Community Through ESCAPE

Dajour Evans is a sophomore in the College and an ESCAPE leader.

The Dajour from this time last year had it more together than I do right now.

At that point in my life, I was a few months into my first semester of freshman year. I missed my family but I wasn’t very homesick. I was stressed, but who isn’t stressed in college? Honestly, on the whole, I was doing okay around the time I registered for an ESCAPE overnight. I heard from my friends who went that it was fun and that the food was great, which is really all I need to hear to sign up for basically anything. So I did, hoping for fun and food and not expecting too much.

When I think about that overnight retreat, nothing necessarily monumental happened. I didn’t make any new friends from my year who are still my friends today, and I didn’t come back a brand new person or anything. But, I enjoyed myself. I genuinely enjoyed myself in a place that wasn’t exactly my comfort zone with people I didn’t know, which is unusual for me. And on a more personal note, I finally had the time to sit back, breathe, and truly think about my life – what was making me happy and what wasn’t. For all of these reasons, I applied to be an ESCAPE leader.

I think, in hindsight, I was searching for a community at Georgetown. I wanted that same feeling of welcoming that I felt on my ESCAPE overnight, except I wanted it all the time. In my life, I have often struggled with finding comfort with other people and myself. I’m a pretty outgoing person, but it’s hard for me to make connections that truly mean something; connections that aren’t superficial. ESCAPE provides that space for me. I know I can always go to the ESCAPE office and feel welcomed.

Now, a year later, as I look back on my freshman self, I definitely was more put together than I am now. But oddly enough, I think I am better off now than I was then, and a large part of that has to do with ESCAPE. That space I have to reflect has allowed me to make tough but necessary decisions that I don’t think my freshman self would have made. And the friendships I have made have been more important to me than my friends probably know.

That’s the irony of it all, I suppose.

Sophomore year has so far been more difficult for me in every way than freshman year has. But because I now feel comfortable admitting when I’m not okay, and I have a community of people to share that with, I feel more at home at Georgetown now than I did just a year ago.