These Little Town Blues, Are Melting Away

This weekend, I went to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, marking my first time in New York City…ever (cue the Frank Sinatra music).

Before the trip even began, I was a little nervous and plagued with the feeling of uncertainty. I had no idea what to expect, and even though I was going with other people, this fact did nothing to diminish my nervousness about the unknown. This feeling wasn’t really fear or anxiety. The only thing I can compare this feeling to is a knot in the pit of my stomach that reminded me everyday that I was about to embark on something that I had never experienced before, in an environment that I knew little to nothing about. This feeling preceded the trip and continued when I arrived. 

As I was there, navigating my way around the city, I felt a personal transition take place. Despite the tremendous amount of fun that I had, I couldn’t help but think about how I felt, both while I was there and on the way back to campus. 

I experienced a feeling of discomfort. However, I was still able to get through the trip, have fun and ultimately enjoy my experience in the City. It is because of this that I came to realize that feeling uncomfortable can be a good thing. Sometimes we go about our daily lives not wanting to feel uncomfortable. 

This is particularly what I have realized while being a student at Colgate. As Colgate students, I feel that most of us here get stuck in these ruts that to varying degrees can include a routine of school, work, eat, sleep, party, etc. And then we repeat it all over again because we are so comfortable in who we are and what we are doing. However, that’s part of the problem.

The longer I was in the city and the longer I spent walking down Broome Street, Delancey and Rivington, I could feel the transition taking place with every street crossing and new cultural understanding. While this may be trivial to many in the Colgate community who hail from New York and the surrounding areas, such discomfort and the transition that takes place afterwards can apply to anything. This uncomfortable feeling is normal: a part of the transition from the unknown to the known. In embarking on new things, everyone goes through this transition. While the known is ultimately the goal, it’s staying “in the known” that’s the problem.

It would be a shame if we went about our lives not wanting to be uncomfortable by sticking to what is safe, sticking to what we know. I mean, come on, we are Colgate students: we are too smart and capable to just embark on a mundane existence even if is “just temporary” or “just college” or “just” whatever.

So I urge you, Colgate, be uncomfortable. It’s only temporary and once you get over it, it just might give you some perspective and change your life.