fourth year lauren Linkowski

photo by emily haynie

photo by emily haynie

Statues have always been a funny concept to me. Flashback to five-year-old me pushing bangs out of my eyes for a clearer view, looking up at a 20-foot shining sculpture of Honus Wagner in front of PNC Park, horrified that he was literally trapped alive under the coating of bronze.

Reliving this extremely vivid memory made me think more about the preservation of life. While I was relieved to know that Honus himself was not in fact trapped in his own statue, it makes me wonder if he was trapped in his fame. When steps are taken to validate someone’s existence or life accomplishments, are they forever trapped in that snapshot of themselves?

I’m not talking about an embalming type of preservation, but more so the way we choose to present ourselves online, to acquaintances in class, to people we see every Tuesday-Thursday walking the same route-- are we trapped by the nets we have secretly set for ourselves? Are we spinning a story of truth, or little by little enclosing our true selves behind our own layer of brass?

College is a time for exploration, and I don’t think we, as students, need to be completely sure of what our next steps are after we walk through the arch. I’m starting to think that college is meant to expose us to the uncomfortable. Little experiences add up to push us down paths we never thought we would meander. Use these years, filled with their own challenges and successes, to find your true person, and give that person space to change. Don’t trap her in a mold, or coat him in precious metals, or encrust yourself in a “flawless” Instagram profile page.  Leave yourself capable of shifting and growing to become who you want to be.

Happy Monday