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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, June 24, 2024

Jessie Borkan | College Is As College Does

I don't consider myself a particularly vain person. Yes, I've e-mailed the Daily nearly every week asking them to please change the picture above my column, and yes, I cried my eyes out when I got red house paint all over my hair and ended up with Peter Pan's haircut, but nine times out of 10 you'll find me in my morning class having rolled out of bed and directly into one of those chair-desks, no makeup involved. I think it's also worth noting that about 70 percent of my wardrobe consists of men's T-shirts and the same Converse sneakers I've had since sophomore year of high school.
    That's why I was shocked at the symbolic and retributive nature of what happened to me on Thursday night. On my way out to dinner, I ran upstairs to grab a pair of gloves, and as I bent down to pick them up, the full length mirror mounted on my wall fell and shattered over the back of my head. Talk about God trying to send me a message.
    I felt dazed, but I still knew how to spell my own name, so I figured I was good to go and proceeded to have the most hilarious train ride of my life, due mostly to the influx of unmistakably tipsy behavior on my part. It wasn't until I could not decide what to order at the restaurant — I could barely concentrate enough to read the menu — that I realized that I might have more than a headache from my run in with my own vanity. Sure enough, I was diagnosed with a mild concussion Friday morning.
    The next couple of days were a confusing blur of me doing really stupid things. I found myself throwing my dishes in the garbage when I was done eating and riding my bike around Powderhouse Square several times before it occurred to me to get off at my street, and I consistently called my little sister when I was trying to call my dad. My brain couldn't take the cornucopia of electronic beats and slutty Pocahontases on Halloween, and don't even get me started on how confused I was over Daylight Savings.
    I wondered how long I was going to be like this? So I called my mom, fully expecting her to have an answer to this unanswerable question, and she made a simple but profound statement that left me feeling a bit better.
    "Like what?" she said. "You're always like this."
    She is so right.
    I am absentminded and have a terrible sense of direction. My wallet is a mess, I don't really know how to use my cell phone and there's nothing I hate more than a slutty Pocahontas. Okay, so maybe my concussion did make me legitimately woozy and unable to handle loud noises, but it didn't manufacture any insane behaviors in me — the crazy was already there.
    The moral of the story? Diagnosis can be a dangerous thing. Without my mother's voice of reason, I might still be blaming the Jessie in my life on my concussion next week, when I accidentally call my teacher "Mom" (at least 85 percent of you have done this, I am sure of it), or next month, when I get into the shower with my socks on.
    Apparently, I am more vain than I thought, seeing as my subconscious had no qualms with letting my minor head injury take the rap for all of my less than sterling qualities. Nevertheless, thanks, God (and Mom) — lesson learned. Personality happens. Personality flaws happen. And so do concussions.


Jessie Borkan is a junior majoring in clinical psychology. She can be reached at

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