Growing Pains

Emily Rawdon

I grew up this week. Again. The phrase opening this paragraph is one I feel I’ve repeated every week for the past two years (I didn’t “grow” much as a first-year). Each time, the words came from shocks of varying size: the pain of living by my own means for the first time, the onset of my first major relationship, and the necessity of having to simply say I would not take sides in arguments that would divide a group. All were understandable and dealt with easily.

This week brought one I don’t exactly know how to handle. Last week, as I sat around a table in the photography lab I felt very out of place. There is no arguing that I feel at home in the basement of Little, and that the same goes for behind a camera, but my placement in the genre was fuzzy. On either side of me were people who KNEW about photography. What I was simply “doing,” they were immersing themselves into. Names, histories, styles, techniques — they were familiar territory for these ladies. For me, they were new additions.

If you could even say additions, that is. The shock of understanding that I had never fully committed myself to a serious study, where I became obsessively engulfed in an area or topic, made me question my future. Here I am, one year and a few months away from being finished with Colgate, and I haven’t begun to concentrate. Is there enough time for me to seriously change the way I am approaching college? Is there enough time to firmly invest myself into my specific areas?

I don’t know. And that really worries me. I look at some of my friends and cannot fathom their understanding and dedication to their specific genres. They are understanding while I am simply playing along. But I can’t do that anymore. If I really want my future to be what I spent the last year dreaming of, my work must begin now. Not tomorrow, not in an hour. Now.

I’ve been playing the roulette of knowledge for far too long. I know it is fine to want to learn about everything, but there comes a time when you have to settle down and marry your academic sweetheart. My time to utilize Colgate is slimming down, so I really have no other choice. This week I grew up and realized that for me, the immersion time is now.