A recent acquaintance of mine came up to me and asked out of the blue, “Is it true that you’re dating that guy on the first floor of Clark?”
Okay, first, a bit taken back. Why is this pretty much random person assuming that I’m dating my guy friend? How the hell does she know enough information about me to assume this? And hasn’t she ever heard that phrase assuming makes an ass out of you and me? All those questions ran through my head in about two seconds.
Gossip seems to be a reoccurring activity at Pacific University. Daily to say the least. And hey, maybe it’s a small school thing. Maybe it is the fact that even if you don’t know who someone is, at this school it’s easy to recognize a face. I guess that would make it easy to make a generalization about someone if you see their face every day.
I personally am not a fan of trash-talk, gossip or drama. But I am not above talking trash. I have talked about people I do not know personally. I have talked trash about people I do know. I am not some holy being who politely chooses not to talk smack about others. I do try not to, but really, sometimes people piss me off and I lose sight of that “good” person I want to be.
So yes, I am guilty. Uh, who isn’t? But come when this gets published, I am going to stop. This might be one of the hardest goals for my college career and I know I will have slips, but I do not enjoy talking about others. This might just be me, but gossip never gets answered, and I like facts. I like answers. I don’t get answers when I rant to my friends about people who annoy me, I feel like a beezy. I don’t feel accomplished or better than before, but that’s also just me.
But why? People will still talk without talking to me, so why bother? Because that recent acquaintance of mine came and talked to me: the knowledgeable source for said “information.” Because a stranger came up to me and didn’t trash-talk behind my back. I am going to follow her lead, and even if it seems awkward and weird, I’d much rather have that awkward moment than have people I don’t know making assumptions about me.
I am thankful that she had the decency to talk to me, the guts to ask me. Of course the easier way is to ask others. Some examples I’ve heard include “Did someone sleep on my bed last night?” Why not ask your roommate? “Did he take my bowl?” I think he of all people would know best. “What’s her deal?” Ask her.
College is all about taking initiative, right? So do it. If you wonder why someone acts the way they do, have some genuine interest in their life and ask them. Get annoyed with some action someone does? Sit them down one on one or whatever works best for you and let them know. Worse than that can happen; they won’t stop, so what? But on the bright side, they will realize and be aware that their actions are not being appreciated.
So now my “dirty hippy,” or whatever my friends want to call it, comes out where I say, let’s make this college a place where we all feel accepted and appreciate people for the individuals they are. But really. If you’ve read this and want to try your best to stop the gossip, drama and trash-talk, then you best know I’m right there with you. I’m by your side working to make myself and this community a place where everyone can be themselves without worry of the trash-talk.
Perfectly realistic? No. But why the hell wouldn’t you try?