Rejection. If we’re to look at the etymology of the word (trust me, I’m an English major), it’s a lot like ejection—being thrust out and pushed away, but then re- , meaning over and over and over again (Okay, so I’m an English major not an etymologist…sue me…just kidding, please don’t sue me).
We’ve all experienced rejection, she said tritely. And if you haven’t, please come and see me right away—I would be more than happy to reject you. Because it’s a part of life, and as my dad has told me many times, it’s a part of getting from where you thought you should be going to where you’re supposed to be. He also says you’ve got to take a high risk in order to reap a high reward. And the other day he told me you never want to dispose of a good sex object. But that’s irrelevant.
This ladies and gents, is the perfect time to get rejected. Because college is the perfect time to take big risks and to find out where you’re supposed to be—to get yourselves into some pickles, so you can open up the jar later and enjoy all of those savory lessons.
But there are three (at least…at most the majority of our student population) of you who are NOT going out on the limb. And you are first years living somewhere in the vicinity of the first-year quad.
How do I know this? Because if you were going out on a limb, we would be eating lunch, drinking coffee, or enjoying the blossom of a beautiful friendship whilst gallivanting on centaurback this very minute. Instead I am writing this column at my kitchen table, crying bitter (imaginary) tears into an enormous mug of (FAIR TRADE) coffee. Isn’t that a sad picture?
Let me paint you another picture. I walked into InterVarsity last Thursday. On three specific brown paper bags of destiny, I wrote a message of friendly invitation, as well as the promise of a free meal, and then my phone number. They were then delivered to three first years—separated from me only by fate.
I have yet to receive a response from my three lucky (yes you are LUCKY!) contenders — so this is me facing rejection. Maybe you’ve been detained by the three-day weekend or your studies. Or maybe you’re afraid I’m really a serial killer.
But if I were going to kill you, I would have done it by now. Comforting?
Good. So now we’re back to rejection. Because if I am going to rhapsodize internally and make this small experience meaningful, then I am going to say that what’s really keeping you is the fear of rejection. The fear to take a risk.
And it’s what keeps us from answering those drifting, darting chances of possibility tacked onto the literal and metaphorical brown paper bags left in front of our doors.
So take a chance, hit me up and let’s go get a coffee. You’ll either end up with a great new older friend or chopped up in pieces in the trashcan behind my house. The risk could be worth it.
Margaret Browne is a senior majoring in English.