There are many ways I can characterize my Georgetown experience. I can point to the roommates that have become family, the classes that redirected my career goals, and the professors who challenged me to question my fundamental beliefs. Georgetown has defied my expectations in many ways, but what never ceases to completely amaze me are the people that comprise this community. Each one of us has a story; a passion that sets our souls on fire and a sense of love that manifests itself in myriads of ways. Bossier, for me, provides the platform necessary to truly understand the intricacies of who we are as individuals. So, let me take you on a journey through my passions and quirks, and explain why Bossier means so much to me and adds another dimension to being a student here at Georgetown.
I decided to join Bossier at the beginning of the spring semester of my freshman year. Throughout high school, I was always involved in my school’s journalism program. Growing up with a speech impediment led me to find my confidence in writing and design. I found that writing and design provided me with the ability to be introspective yet expressive at the same time. Being actively involved in journalism helped me process each challenge and change in my life. However, during my first months of college, I became consumed by the pressures of what “I should be doing” or what would ultimately be the best activities for my professional development. The core values of Christianity and my faith in God have always reminded me that there is much more to life than personal success; yet, I shied away from these guiding principles and allowed myself to be defined by what others perceived of me.
Disenchanted with the pressures that surrounded me, I longed for a sense of belonging and understanding that the chaos of freshman year and living in D.C. did not always provide. There were times that I questioned some of the fundamental aspects of my identity: the role of my faith in the person I should be, my perspectives as a bi-racial woman in a world that does not always understand exactly what that means, and the extent to which I was capable of making a difference in this world, let alone succeed here at Georgetown. The tense environment often made it difficult for me to see the love in a world, in which everyone always seemed to be at odds. I needed to ground myself, remember my roots, and focus on who I was as a person. So I returned, determined to embrace what I was deeply passionate about, be proud of who I was and ultimately put aside the fear of failure and devote my time to improving the world around me.
So there I was at the beginning of January, a Miami girl in temperatures below 70 degrees, with nothing more than a semester of what I like to call confusion under my belt. Faced with a flurry of hundreds of clubs to look into at CAB fair, Bossier’s catch phrase “We are girls who create,” captured my attention as it brought me back through my own story, what expression meant to me, and the values my faith had instilled within me. It reminded me that there is power in the words we speak, the things we create, and the dreams we seek. Bossier, at its core, is focused on the freedom to express yourself, to be unapologetically you, and to embrace your most authentic and genuine self. I knew that I wanted to help make that a reality for each person who feels called to submit to the publication.
As Bossier’s Director of Layout and Design, I am responsible for helping unite artwork and writing. Bossier is a blessing in my life because it has shown me the beauty in our commonalities and differences as members of one community. I believe that our creations are testaments of our souls, the innermost part of all of us that is trying to make sense of the world in which we live. Each piece brings a different perspective and never ceases to push my boundaries, allowing me to grow and expand my own understandings.
I believe that by harnessing a forum for freedom of expression, there also comes the need to appreciate and love one another. I love the fact that through being on the Bossier team I can express the complexities of growing up in a Haitian-American household and share my culture with people who are genuinely interested in how that has led me to hold different perceptions. At the same time, I also have the opportunity to learn about their perspectives in return and work to ensure that each person can share whatever they would like to with the greater Georgetown community.
Yet, while I am proud that I can have a role in empowering others, I will always be grateful to Bossier, to each person on the staff and to every person who submits, for they have all taught me to embrace different aspects of my identity and grow within them. Bossier has reminded me that every aspect of who I am, from being Haitian-American to having a lisp, is all a part of my journey. It reminds me that I believe that life is about caring for other people and truly getting to know them beyond a resume, a GPA or a job title. Ultimately, it has allowed me to live out the part of my life that is most important to me: my faith. I believe that we are called to love and support one another and through Bossier I have the opportunity to contribute to a publication that appreciates the beauty of each individual.
Image Credits: Emma Francois