Well, I spent my weekend at the big, hyped-up video dance. And let me tell you, it was disappointing. After arriving late, around 9:30, I expected it to be packed. No room. No air. Music pumping. Instead I walked into a random array of clusters, with everyone looking around, halfheartedly swaying. As the night progressed, these cluster milled around and exchanged members but never dissolved into a free-dancing mass. I talked with other returning students, and we noticed that there was a huge ratio of new students compared to old. When I arrived, I thought that this boring night would improve. In my opinion, it didn’t. It just reminded me how afraid and apprehensive people are, especially at Andover.
After the dance, I discussed with some others how few people danced together, compared to recent years. The guys stood in the back with their “bros”, just sort of watching the uncomfortable, self-conscious girls. After a bit the two genders intermingled, bopping up and down, gradually coming closer.
Watching this spectacle, it seemed that girls and guys over-think their actions. We all are really far too thoughtful for our own good. We girls painstakingly stress over what to wear, how to flirt just enough so he asks us to dance. I know of so many cases where the girl likes the boy and the boy likes the girl, but nothing happens. The hopeless romantic in me finds this absolutely tragic.
Men can be proud beings. Male friends have constantly tell me they don’t make moves on girls “because I could get turned down!” Well, rejection is part of life. Just think of the positive that could arise from showing your true feelings. There are a million different story lines and outcomes, but there’s no way to find out unless you just, as it were, “man up.”
We’re all (for the most part) 14-18 years old, right? Ok, well, let’s say that if everything in life goes according to plan, we’ll all live well into our late 70s, given today’s medical innovations. That seems like a long time, but really, it’s not.
This whole crush-Video-Dance scenario can be used to describe human tendency. We shy away from certain clothes, subjects of conversation, activities and people because we are worried about the repercussions and how we’ll be perceived. The connotations attached to certain activities make people shy away from them, fearing the all-encompassing status quo.
Now, if you just happen to prefer things that are “socially acceptable,” you’re in the clear, but if you’re someone who secretly wants to learn how to fence, or figure skate, or write poetry please just set the connotations aside, and give it a shot!
It’s worth noting this apprehension when people know that they won’t be somewhere for long and don’t have anything to lose. Knowing you have a set amount of time somewhere changes how you spend it.
I see seniors dance more crazily than they would have as underclassmen and talk about how they don’t care about appearances, planning on perpetually roaming around campus in sweatpants. The Class of 2012 will soon be spooning and lawn-lounging, knowing that their time at Andover is severely limited.
Do what you want. It’s not worth the unhealthy mental turmoil we all go through, incessantly worrying and wondering about “what if” and the hundreds of possible outcomes of our dreamt act. You simply won’t know until you act on it.
Veronica Harrington is a two-year Upper from Los Angeles, CA.