The Collegian
Saturday, December 10, 2022

Letter: Learn to Laugh

Dear Natasha,

I appreciate your need to "speak out" against Kristy Burkhardt's Collegian article ("The Dos and Don'ts of Freshman Year").

I also appreciate the fact that you had the courage to publicize what many of your classmates were undoubtedly thinking, however wrong you all were.

Nonetheless, I feel it necessary to address your harsh words because frankly, I find them unfounded and disrespectful, not only as a senior, but also as a Richmond student.

I am not writing to "rip" on you personally, as you so rudely did to Kristy. Rather, I am writing in the spirit of constructive criticism (something with which Kristy's article was laden, but which seems to have fallen on deaf freshman ears ... ).

I am also not suggesting that you not challenge authority (or in this case, a senior) when you seriously have a problem.

In fact, those challenges form some of the most interesting forums for discussion and debate. Nonetheless, I am suggesting that you maintain a level of respect for the person to whom you direct your comments and that you ensure your comments are well-founded before you begin spitting out false accusations.

I would like to relay that KRISTY'S ARTICLE WAS A JOKE; an artfully crafted piece, wonderfully written and rife with biting sarcasm.

It was not necessarily meant to convey true "advice" to freshmen, but rather to comment on Richmond at this moment and your class' place within our community.

This is not high school anymore. This is college where we have actual journalism majors who are able to write smart pieces that have (gasp!) multiple layers of meaning.

Sometimes, you will have to go beyond the article's face value and search for its true intention. This is what we in college call "thinking."

As much as I appreciate the vast amount of knowledge you have gained of Richmond in the, oh, three weeks that you have been here, you have not yet had the distinct pleasure of realizing what Kristy's weekly writing is all about.

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She has an uncanny and unparalleled ability to take a sharp look at Richmond students (herself included) and poke fun at all of our idiosyncrasies.

She holds up the proverbial mirror and forces us all to look (and laugh!) at ourselves. I applaud Kristy for her keen observations and her fantastic ability to capture these things so perfectly in her well-thought-out writing.

My advice: please, learn to laugh at yourself! Richmond is hard enough without maintaining such a serious attitude 24/7. If you can master this, you can master college. If not, then you are in for a loooonnnggg four years, my friend.

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