OPINION: Through the green glass door

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 Natalie Santiago is a first-year
from Chicago, Illinois.

DePauw’s campus is one that is full of thriving individuals looking for more ways to ensure their futures in this world. It can feel intimidating at times and cause one to fall into this sort of existential crisis, questioning their place here.

When I first came to this campus I thought it was a great place because people were so nice and seemed to be genuinely interested. After giving it some time though I’ve come to see a very different side of this campus. I, among many other students, feel the pressures of trying to find a place on campus where we can “just be ourselves,” but it never ends up like that.

There are so many amazing people here that are some of the brightest and most open-minded people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. But that doesn’t excuse the fact that it’s so easy to feel unwelcome and excluded; separated by racial discrimination and financial degrees that leave us feeling like there’s no point in getting involved on campus if you can never truly be a part of it.

It honestly feels like I decided to start high school over; only the work is much more strenuous. I can feel the looks and glares I get because a collective group doesn’t understand my hair or approve of my tattered shoes. Greek life is a whole other playing field, however. When the school parties together, all that negativity and segregation evaporates, the dissonance becomes harmonious, and everyone gathers around like a ritual. Granted, a majority of students are under the influence, but it’s funny how this can bring the most random people together and make them feel like they were never a part of a different crowd to begin with.

Fraternities invite you in and offer you a good time because they want to have fun and meet new people. What is it besides alcohol consumption that causes this rift between people to dissipate? You get too feel connected to a larger group of people who completely vibrate with you and have the same outlook on life. I guess this separation comes from what we search for; someone to understand, someone to share our lack of interests, and someone to identify and validate.

We set the bar so high on what we expect to receive from each other, but at the end of the day, people don’t define you, make or break you; we just exist despite each other with all of our common goals.