It is now slightly over half way through the semester… exams, papers, practicals and quizzes have been coming at me left and right. In WILL we had three guest speakers in a row filling our brains with information about action research, the LGBTQPIA community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer/questioning, pansexual, intersex, asexual/ally), and the cycle of socialization. There is so much information flying at me some days I firmly believe my head is going to explode.
Or that my entire body might just spontaneously combust from my life being so overwhelming. But then I think “PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER!!!” Sometimes all it takes is some screaming, literally or figuratively, to make us take a step back and think. Yes, there are a hundred different things going on in my life, but there are a million different things going on in the world. We all need to step back and look at the bigger picture. Everything does not need to get done right now at this very instant, and some things are actually completely out of our control. We all need to breathe and take things one step at a time… personally, I think the phrase from the Lion King “Hakuna matata” is very fitting here.
The ideas of feminism and creating social change can quickly turn into that same feeling of drowning. There still needs to be improvements in the areas of women’s reproductive health rights, marriage equality, equal pay, protections for those in the trans* community, even improvements for those who are single parents in our society or who are victims of violence and abuse. Just thinking about all of these different things can almost cause your head to explode, let alone figuring how to fix each of them. Yet at the same time, each of these things is bigger than every single one of us. I single handedly cannot decide who does or does not get married, or how legislation is passed protecting individuals from their abusers. It takes all of us. So when you are having the worst day ever and just want to give up, don’t worry! There is a community of people just like you that want social change, much like what we have in WILL. And those peers in your community will know when you are feeling overwhelmed or that you might lose your marbles. They will be more than willing to step up so you can take a step back and breathe. We are all human, each of us will have an off day, but when it comes to changing the world… there is always strength in numbers.
Katie Britt is a second-year WILLer. She is a Junior majoring in Biology, Pre-Medicine and is also pursuing a minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.