I had to write an essay a few weeks back on the topic of identities and how they're expressed, or not expressed, through how we use language. It was an interesting exercise and by the end of it I had basically decided I was as close to proud of my essay as I could get. I showed it to a friend, Denise. At the end of it she told me she could barely understand the essay because of the way I used language; it seemed designed to exclude people not university educated.
Despite all the snide remarks I've made all year about the University snobs (post-grad students who work as tutors but talk like they're of noble blood etc.) I have become a part of that world. It's who I am now whether I like it or not and the way I write essays and approach the world and speak about issues is so strongly informed by the privilege and density and utter wankerousness of the atmosphere I'm in at University. The further I go into this degree, the more I think I might not end up somewhere I like. Or I might lose too much of myself to recognise when I've become someone who prizes sounding smart more than making a worthwhile point or who would rather live in borderline poverty and continue studying into my thirties than actually enter the world as an adult and function independently.
I've always been that kid that can't adjust to different social situations. I'm as likely to attempt to use four syllable words during a party as in the middle of a class debate. If I stick around at Uni, will I have any hope of having friends who aren't as over educated and under experienced as I am? Will I ever contribute to the world rather than continue to live in some freaky University clean room?
When I write about identities and language, I worry that the one I'm creating for myself with every subsequent word is one I'll wish I'd never expressed.