Meet Anna, 18, Our New Blogger!
I am so excited to announce Penn State sophomore Anna Wing as our newest guest blogger for the 2013-2014 academic year. I was blown away by your applications for this position — you guys are truly amazing writers and thinkers. Thank you so much for putting yourselves out there, sharing your writing with me and generally giving me hope! Please give Anna a warm welcome to rachelsimmons.com and be sure to let her know what you think! I’m thrilled to have her here, and I think you’ll love getting to know her. ~ Rachel
I’m a lot of other things too. I’m a runner, I’m a student, I’m an avid shower-singer. But I’m a feminist too, in a world where that statement doesn’t always get the best reception. It’s a word with baggage, and it’s taken some time for me to own it. But it’s a part of me that’s at least as big as my shower-singing-self, and it has brought me here.
My name is Anna, and I’m a sophomore at Penn State University. I’m studying biochemistry, which is another fact about myself that people tend to twitch away from for almost certainly different reasons. I have an adorable chocolate lab at home, and I miss her very much while away. I read everything from zombie apocalypse novels to classics, with a special emphasis on the zombie apocalypses during my busier school semesters (and suggestions are always welcome). I have to drag myself away from absolutely anything that tastes like pumpkin.
But I also love to think about things, and I like talking them through with all kinds of people. I try to be more interested in learning than about being right. That’s what this time in my life is for — to take the beliefs and values that have been shaped by where I come from, into an environment where I can test how they mesh with where I’m going. For me, right now, that’s college: a place where people from every possible place in the world and the ideological spectrum come together to mix backgrounds and political views and questions about the world. But it’s also the Internet.
We live in a time where it is easier than ever to communicate. I can open up my laptop and read about what people are thinking and talking about in every corner of the world, as well as every conceivable viewpoint (along with some inconceivable ones). Those different perspectives are what makes it possible to think, to really think, about how we might revise our own beliefs and create the person we want to be in the future.
So here I am, live-blogging my journey to real-personhood. I’ve blogged before, but only ever for classmates and a teacher. The world wide web is a little more intimidating.
I’ve never met most of you, and yet I’ll be telling you all about my personal opinions, struggles and questions. It’s scary — and exciting. I’ve never met you and yet I’m already sure that you are brilliant, thoughtful and are going to make me look at things in a way that I never have before. Thanks in advance.
It is incredibly important to think and talk about what we believe in, especially when so many people are getting shut out of those conversations online and in real life. Or even worse — when those conversations are just not happening because the pressure to not talk about them is so great, or because people feel like they don’t have anyone to talk to. Conversations about topics such as misrepresentation, bullying, and the pressure to be nice, to be skinny, to be unthreatening, to be demure but not frigid. The conversations we don’t have enough.
So let’s talk. I’m excited to start.
And because this really should be a dialogue, what would you like to read and discuss in the future?