I joined The Vagina Monologues spiritually the first time I saw them tabling at Seawolf Decision Day, and really it’s why I decided to go to Sonoma State. I was walking by with my mom, her quietly urging me to go speak to tables as I shyly swatted her suggestions away from my consciousness. They aggressively tried to recruit me, which turned into a session of education on what The Vagina Monologues even was. I left the club fair feeling less confused about the future of my life; however, it still felt uncertain.
I began my first year of college brimming with anxiety. It didn’t help that I didn’t have a permanent home, I was commuting from my relative’s house 35 minutes away because campus housing was full, and I only knew a single person on campus — a cherished friend I’d met from orientation. When I moved on campus, I couldn’t leave my dorm without wanting to cry. Eating at the cafeteria became a source of fear, because eating in front of friends was hard enough, let alone hundreds of strangers that had wandering eyes. When my phone screen lit up midnight on September 12, my 19th birthday, I cried from loneliness.
As depressing as that sounds, things looked up at the end of September (as Green Day says, “Wake me up when September ends”). I had been scouring for any news on the club via social media, flyer, or school-mandated newsletters. Finally, while I was peeing in the first-floor bathroom of the Student center, I spotted something saying “INFO NIGHTS FOR THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES! YOU MUST ATTEND TO JOIN.” on the back of the stall door. For the first time since stepping foot on campus for the fall 2015 semester, I felt hope that I would feel at home.
I missed the first meeting because I couldn’t find the room we were supposed to be meeting in; it was hidden away in the back of the upperclassmen dorms, a mysterious place where all the buildings looked the same and the landscaping was trimmed weekly. Luckily Instagram DM existed and I just messaged the director that try as I might, I couldn’t use my echo location to find the building I was supposed to be in.
I ended my freshman year feeling optimistic that I had a future at Sonoma State, and I owe it to the show. Without the incredibly educated, amazing, and talented women I met through The Vagina Monologues, I don’t know if I would’ve had the courage to continue getting an education here.