The third floor of the library stands as the land of forward thinking on campus. There, books on becoming a better teacher, child psychologist, student, public relations officer, politician, homosexual--yes, I found a book outlining the mechanics on how lesbianism "works"--and religious texts interpreter can all be found on the same shelves. Like one big, happy family. These things are what make college, college. The open-minded, experimental, "politically correct," underage, anti-religion, indie rock obsessed, voters of marijuana legalization run the campus and are the poster-children for MTV's next season of College Life. All the while, the open-hearted, believers of a Higher power, appreciators of music--not to say all indie is bad--Stephen Colbert fans are chastised for not being more liberal or even criticized when the discovery one's roommate used to have lesbian tendencies leaves one in a state of uncomfortable shock. (That, of which, is not a personal experience but a friend's unfortunate run-in between her roommate and RA--resident adviser.)
Correct me if I am wrong, but I would think the "open-minded" would understand the backgrounds of all people entering a new environment, thus treat their, sometimes, "small town" peers with a bit more respect. Though I fall into the latter category, I am far from prejudice against those outside of my own ideals. And still I find myself surrounded by students who stand against me and shake their heads in shame, because I would rather not be counted amongst the thousands before me who stood upon tables, a beer bottle in each hand and a cigarette falling out of my mouth. I was warned college can change students who once thought they stood strong for their political ideals and beliefs. I have yet to feel this pressure to conform to the books on the shelves. Instead, I just find myself fighting for some recognition and respect.
I may never be a martial arts doing, mace-slinging feminist; a political activist who firmly believes you either ride for Obama or die; a band geek who relies on pot during the school year, and band camp for pleasure; a Coexist player with enough bumper stickers to rival any Bible-thumper (though I do not disagree with love for everyone); or a homosexual trying to "find myself" in this crazy world. However, I will be the lover of all music, sitting quietly to myself, with a faith in God, lapsed in religion, who hates all politics, and knows how to have a good time without drowning myself in disposable products that will only blur my vision and memory for the night and make me wake-up questioning the location of my bra. If there ever is a book about people like me, I just hope one day it will make the shelves on the third floor. We deserve a place, too.