I should hate a lot more people at this school. That is, I think there are a lot of students here who think I hate them, but I don’t. All thanks to the wonders of compartmentalizing.
One of the most beneficial skills I’ve acquired from being editor-in-chief of The Linfield Review is the ability to compartmentalize my emotions in terms of my professional (TLR) life and my personal (student) life. I’ve had many quarrels and have probably made many people upset because of various newspaper-related decisions, but I never let this unpleasantness cross over into my personal or social interaction.
For example, I always keep in mind that no matter how much I disagree with a policy enforced by ASLC and no matter how heated policy arguments become, I am working on a professional level with my peers. These are peers who I see everyday in class, across campus, at LAB events and at parties. These are people I want to be friends with.
The most prominent example of this, in my mind, involved the ASLC elections. The Review Editorial Board, which includes myself, elected
not to endorse Katie Patterson when she ran for vice president last year or president this year. Even though I did not vote for Patterson during the last two elections and even though there was some negativity between ASLC and the Review about these endorsements, I would vote “yes” every day for Patterson as a person. I had a class with her last semester, and I have never seen her without a contagious, beaming smile. Even though I have not always seen eye-to-eye with Patterson on a professional level, how could I not show anything but fondness for this fine young woman?
It’s easy for feelings and judgments developed on a professional level to bleed into our personal lives. But I think we should make a constant effort to realize that we may need to make professional choices that are not the most popular with our peers. We do not need to let these often-necessary decisions dampen our social relationships.
It takes a lot of negative energy and effort to harbor these unnecessary hatreds. It takes a lot of gratuitous work to avoid peers because of professional disputes, especially on such a small campus. It’s so much easier and more gratifying to forgive professional (and also political, religious, ideological, etc.) differences and wave “hello!”
We’re at a small college. You are likely to have class with a student leader who may make contentious decisions. Remember that someone has to deal with the touchy topics that face other students.
Even if you don’t agree with these decisions, agree that we are all students and peers who must deal with academic, extracurricular and life challenges. As a Linfield community, we will all be a lot happier if we can compartmentalize emotions to separate professional differences from our personal lives to foster a loving, accepting, positive student body.
To close, I ask that we all consider a quote from Martin Luther King Jr., whose quote relays my point more eloquently than I could: “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
Kelley Hungerford can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.