Look closer and give Mac a shot

By Nina Slesinger

Dear Hannah Zeeb, Oh, sweet child. Young, beautiful, naïve baby tropical fish. How are things? Tough? Yeah. My first year of college was tough too. Especially those first few months. I remember meeting so many people and not feeling like I could be friends with any of them. I remember finally settling into a group of friends and realizing that I didn’t feel comfortable there at all. Not to say they are bad people, they just weren’t mypeople. Which is okay. Humans are complicated, beautiful creatures and it’s best not to judge. You say that Macalester is full of cliques. Sure. But I think we differ on our definition of “clique.” Cliques are normal—they are just groups of friends. They don’t have to be the mean, exclusive, cold posses as depicted in high school TV shows, and they don’t become those until you look at them that way. You say you saw jocks and druggies in Café Mac? If you looked closer or chose not to reduce them to juvenile labels, you may have found that those jocks are kind, intelligent and clever. You may have found that those druggies are in fact straight-edge kids who happen to prefer a particular aesthetic. You may have found that those stuck-up girls are talented and humble. I’ve had the privilege to meet so many people at Macalester and I’d be hard-pressed to find any two that are alike (snowflake reference!), even within my own cliques. You may look at my friends and me and see girls in “large sweaters” and “those weird hiking sandals on [our] feet” and assume we’re all likeminded “wannabe-hipster-hipsters.” I’d say you’re not looking closely enough. Despite our sharing clothes, we’re all complex people with different backgrounds, values and goals. I would be horribly bored if my friends were similar enough that they could be encapsulated in a single word. You see, Hannah, people are not the clothes they wear, or the façade you may see in the cafeteria. They are living and feeling beings, and you should treat them as such. Don’t sum people up. Open yourself to the possibility that someone could surprise you. I hope that you’ll give Macalester more of a shot. It took me a while to find my niche, but I did, and I’m happy and satisfied and grateful to be here. Also, if you’re looking for alternatives to the dorm party lifestyle—which I know can be frustrating—my housemates and I would be happy to have you over sometime. Sincerely, Nina Slesinger and the residents of Rack City refresh –>