Column by Rachel Freeman

Rachel Freeman

So, it’s 3:52 a.m. and I probably won’t be sleeping until 6 a.m. – if I even sleep at all. I’ve been trying to figure out what to write this column on almost all day and actually as I typed out that sentence I think I know what to say or at least attempt to. Trying.

Trying things is really important, especially new, exciting, potentially really incredible things. Like whoever set off the fire alarm THREE times tonight – yes, three – I bet they were trying something new, eh? But honestly, maybe that’s not a good example. I’m not encouraging setting off fire alarms in rapid succession because it almost ruined our newspaper and, y’know,  it’s also a felony and stuff so that probably wouldn’t be cool, but risks! It’s all about the risks. I feel a little hypocritical in that statement as I’m really not the most outgoing or risk-taking person by any means, but I’d like to think I’m learning.

Recently I’ve taken some risks myself and I’ve been a huge advocate of trying to a couple other people this past week. I’ve got to say, when I hear myself urging others to try things it convinces me at the same time. I just feel like so much is lost when you just stay where you are in your comfortable spot or maybe you’re in an uncomfortable spot living in the past or looking too far into the future, but either way you’re probably not as happy as you could be. I don’t want to act like risks are easy or that trying things always works out because let’s face it, half the time they don’t, but isn’t it better to have given something a chance?

I’m going to break out my inner journalistic ass (because seriously, my entire existence revolves around this major that probably won’t make me much money and might leave me on the street begging for coins to buy The New York Times and some pizza) and talk about something I learned in my mass media law class this semester. Prior restraint. It’s the concept that there are so few things that can prevent the press from printing something – those being a threat to national security, obscenity and incitement of violence  – however it’s coupled with the fact that you can take action AFTER it’s been put in the paper. And this is kind of the new view I’m adapting these days.

If you want something, go for it. If you’re scared, if you don’t think you’re ready, force yourself to try. If there’s any part of you that feels like something might be good, then let yourself go. If something doesn’t quite go as you planned, if you realize something actually might not be for you then at least you gave yourself the chance to see that. The whole point is do something after! After you’ve given it your best shot, after you’ve gone for something you wanted, after you were willing to take that risk, then you can take action. We already have so many things against us, so why make ourselves yet another obstacle? Why restrain ourselves from trying something that we might end up loving, that might help us, hey, maybe it’ll even make us miserable, but we should at least give ourselves the benefit of finding out, right?

I hope this hasn’t been weird and cheesy and disgustingly inspirational, but it’s now 4:37 a.m. and I can feel my eyes struggling to stay open and all I can really think about is the $2 breakfast special I’m going to order at the Bistro in a mere three hours (I’m seriously craving soy bacon). If I tried to come up with jokes and be remotely funny right now, they probably would make no sense and show how delusional I get at this time of night (morning?), which is really something no one should have to subject themselves to knowing.

So anyway, I never expected my column to end up like this. I thought of writing about corgis, the tight-knit ‘90s emo community… I don’t even know, but I wasn’t anticipating this. I think I just think too much (see, I’m doing it again) when I’ve been awake for nearly 24 hours. But it’s oddly cathartic, although in the morning I might totally wonder why I shared this with all you lovely readers and maybe you’ll even take some of this to heart (wouldn’t that just be adorable?)

I think I’m veering off topic, so let me just end with this: I’m going abroad to Spain in the Spring as in living in a completely foreign place with no one I really know for half a year. I’ve been a lot more open lately, telling people how I feel when I wanted to tell them. Sure, they’re not the biggest risks, but I’d say it’s a start.