Fall 2017 Student Reflection
I remember staring at the flyer for A Different Dialogue for about 30 seconds before pulling out my phone and filling out the interest form. The opportunity fell on my lap at the perfect moment. By the time I had stepped foot onto Georgetown’s campus I had heard over and over that I needed to brace myself for the culture shock I would experience. That was no joke. Almost instantly I began to feel alone, frustrated, and at times straight up angry that there was little representation of marginalized communities here. When I saw other people of color, it was almost as if we were visible to one another for a fleeting moment before being sucked into the hustle and bustle of the university. I really needed to talk to someone, but most importantly I needed to hear how others felt. I desperately needed to find community, or at the very least learn from others to try to understand this new hectic environment a little better. Three months later I stand in front of the people who gave me the strength to get through my first semester of college. Each and every one of you played a big role in my growth. From the serious and engaging conversations we had regarding the intersectionality of our identities to laughing at the ridiculousness of pop culture and charade skills that are still a work in progress, I came out of A Different Dialogue feeling seen and valued. My identities felt validated and I found a family of beautifully woke and caring individuals. From you all I learned to listen, to call people in, and to value even more deeply identities different from my own. I learned again and again, that I do not know everything and that if I wanted to see progress, I needed to acknowledge my own privilege and use it to dismantle systems of oppression. I was humbled and loved and taught so much. I was lucky enough to belong to a space where we celebrated one another. I want to shoutout Carolina and Hockaday for their patience and understanding at every step of the way. Thank you very much and thank you A Different Dialogue.
– Janeth Preciado Vargas, COL’, 2021