The Collegian
Saturday, July 04, 2020

All that glitters isn't always gold

Ever take a good look around Richmond? The Princeton Review ranked it the 20th most beautiful campus in its 2010 edition of "The Best 371 Colleges," but if you take an even closer look, you will find that the students are just as gorgeous as their surroundings.

High-end Ugg boots and Sperrys flood the sidewalks during the fall and winter months, and then it's back to Birkenstocks and other luxury sandals come spring and summer. We brace the elements with designer rain boots and leather jackets, and Lacoste and Ralph Lauren polos fill the classrooms all year round.

Let's face it, we all look the part, but are the lives we lead just as classy and clean-cut as we make them seem?

The truth is, our school has just as many problems as the next, but they are better hidden here. How would you react if you found out that the soft-spoken girl with straight As and the entire Tiffany's jewelry collection to boot is the same girl forcing herself to throw up every night because she thinks she's fat?

What if you were told that the law-school-bound guy sporting the Versace glasses behind the wheel of his Mercedes coupe is driving to the same alley every Saturday night to feed a mean cocaine addiction? The reality is that this campus is full of dirty little secrets.

Everyone has problems, but why do so many people here at Richmond try so hard to hide them? We'd rather spend hundreds at the mall and hide our problems with material things instead of addressing them head on. What's up with that?

According to the Richmond CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) Web site, substance abuse and eating disorders were two of the top 15 reasons students sought help from CAPS last school year. Why don't we put the money we spend on clothes, cars and the like toward a real cause, such as a substance abuse program or eating disorder specialists?

People: This is college, not a runway or the set of Gossip Girl. Let's all stop pretending, and be real. No one is perfect, and no one has time for acting and dress-up (unless it's a REAL play) when it comes down to it.

Maybe I'm the one that's losing it. Maybe I need a trip to the mall to drop a couple thousand bucks on stuff I don't necessarily need, just to make myself look put together. Yes! That's the spirit! After all, there's no problem too big or too small that Saks Fifth Avenue can't fix. Right?

Contact staff writer Kiara Lee at kiara.lee@richmond.edu

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