I really had no idea what to expect when I began this process. I had just finished my football career, limping away with what was left of my health, needing a new crutch to hold myself up. When a friend of mine sent out an email about writing a column for The Crimson, I was intrigued. I was stuck on the self-deluding belief that college is where “you find yourself!” I applied, and by the grace of some higher power, I was accepted as a columnist. I came in believing I’d be able to write about anything, but after a semester, my wide eyes have narrowed.
I got a waffle and coffee last weekend with my freshman year roommate. It was nice to catch up with my first friend at Harvard, and after a few awkward small-talk questions, we began to talk with the rhythm and depth that we had when we were still rooming together. The conversation was all over the place; it went from what comes after college to the surprising similarities between Flume and Future.
While both of my roommates joined final clubs and were off at events and feeling “accepted” into a community, I was at home honing my FIFA skills. At the time, I was willing to burn the system to the ground. Final clubs sucked. Harvard’s war against them was justified. But, after a semester of review and the opportunity to take myself out of the discussion for a while, I believe that, instead, Harvard should actively seek to expand final clubs.
I didn’t cry at the scenes where you’d expect me to cry. When the protagonist, a young boy named Agu, witnesses the murdering of his family, I didn’t cry. When Agu is forced by his commanding officer to kill innocent women and children, I didn’t cry. When Agu was raped by his commander, I didn’t even shed a tear. Oddly, I cried during the happy ending. I cried when Agu rushes into the ocean with his friends, a moment that signifies growth and the prospect of hope.
At first, I found what east coasters wore to be comical. I chuckled when I saw my buddy show up to class in white loafers, blue shorts with pink whales on them, a white Lacoste belt, and a pink Lacoste button-down. But when winter hit, I was not prepared to deal with the preponderance of L.L. Bean Boots on my classmates’ feet.