Grab your tea, blankets and gather ’round it’s story time.
Quick update on my life: today I was sitting in class, statistics to be specific, allowing my thoughts to wander and attention to shift. I was looking around the room trying to find anything to grab my attention and entertain me for the next 48 minutes. As I scanned the sea of students a bright yellow shirt caught my eye. It was a guy sitting a few rows in front of me and on the back of his shirt it said “Go Greek or Go Home.” This got me thinking. Yes, I realize it is just a shirt and likely has no meaning other than to support Greek life but it made me question the expectations and judgement in the college atmosphere. A little disclaimer; greek life is pretty big at my school. This means labels are everywhere. From t-shirts, and water bottles to car decals and tattoos, we are all branded with our letters in some way or another. Every chance we get we flash our symbols and the first question of any conversation is “what house are you in?” When we proudly state our answer a judgement is made in .00025 seconds. We are placed into a specific category and a multitude of assumptions exist before we can even finish a sentence.
This idea of labels, we allow them to run our lives. It is not only in greek life, it dominates the college atmosphere and even beyond that. There are the band geeks, athletes, burnouts, Jesus freaks, pot heads, hippies, businessmen, the list goes on.
It’s as if we are stuck in a box with a million characteristics written on the outside, each of them assumed true until proven otherwise. It’s unethical and immoral.These labels foster misjudgment and deception. They often lead to problems and missed opportunity. That person you met today could have been your future best friend, boyfriend or girlfriend and you let them slip away because of a misplaced judgement.
We are not all carbon copies filled with the same traits. We are made to be different and express ourselves in our own unique image.
The next time you meet someone I challenge you to ditch the labels. Think of them as a newfound treasure, filled with mystery and opportunity. Try to delve deeper and find out who they are as a person, not who they are categorized to be.