Taking Space for Meaning

SaumyaBlogPicA classic example of my previous decision-making process is how I picked where I’d go to college – flipped a coin in the air and went with the school I was hoping it landed on (fun fact: I don’t actually know how it landed). While I do spend a lot of time weighing my options, I’ll ultimately go with my gut instinct of what feels right.

A friend recently started describing me as a “hard F” on the Myers-Briggs scale*, but for better or for worse, I’ve started realizing that my gut instinct isn’t going to cut it in the long run. People who don’t know me aren’t going to be able to understand what moves me, what scares me, what excites me if I can’t articulate those things properly. Somewhat ironically, ESCAPE, the pinnacle of feelings, taught me how to be more T about my F.

Freshman year was a whirlwind of not knowing how to balance school and friends, school and me, school and activities, etc. I got caught in the well-laid trap of making myself busy all the time and didn’t realize that I had no time to process what I was actually doing. By the time the last ESCAPE weekend rolled around, I had been forced to register by a friend who said he refused to listen to me spend the next three years regretting not going, and I was in desperate need of the chance to pause and think.

I listened as people I’d never met before trusted our group with thoughts they’d never shared and I began to understand how valuable it is to know how to articulate my feelings. ESCAPE gave me the space to process decisions I’d made throughout the last semester, which was the absolute best thing that could have happened at the time.

As a leader, I continued to use the space to think critically about my choices and it gave me the confidence to let go of activities and people that weren’t contributing to my growth, while holding onto those that were making me better.

When I think about what I’ve done in college that has provided me the most personal development, it’s ESCAPE, and the current team of leaders can attest to the fact that I’ve tried desperately to hold on to it. What I’ve realized in the past year of being a washed-up-ex-ESCAPE leader is the meaning of that overused phrase, “If you love something, let it go.” I’ve since learned how to keep the lessons I gained through my ESCAPE experience and detach them from the memories I have of the dance parties, games, and reflections. Those were beautiful moments in time that I’ll always cherish and I hope that Georgetown students for years to come will be able to experience them well.

I’ll forever be grateful to the people who let me come up with the language to describe my feelings and gave me the space to find meaning in these four short years I’ll have on the hilltop.

Saumya Bollam, COL ’16, Team 23 Leader