You may remember me
My name is Jaggar DeMarco. I am a freshman here at GW and I am studying political communication. You may remember me from the article, “Students with disabilities look to connect,” (Sept. 27, p. 1).
Although I am happy the article brought the school's attention to some aspects of living life with a disability, I feel there are some things that were misrepresented, not only about myself, but also about people with disabilities as a whole. There have been some very understanding individuals whom I have subsequently met because of the article, but the last thing I want from anyone is pity. I feel as though the article portrays me as a victim – something that I do not consider myself. My story and situation are vastly different from how they came across in the article; therefore, I want to clarify a few things.
Yes, my transition to college has been difficult, but I feel that most freshmen have a difficult time transitioning too. Nothing in my life has come easily, but that does not make me want to give up. It instead makes me want to persevere. I am used to a challenge, and I do everything in my power to overcome each and every one of them. Some things are accomplished much easier than others, but the challenges I have faced in my life have made me the person that I am today. If anyone were to ask me if I would take away my disability, I would say “no.” My disability has had a direct impact on who I am and who I will become, and I am proud to say that I like who I am.
I know that one of my purposes in life is to teach other people how to interact with individuals with disabilities. I know it’s easier just to avoid the situation of getting to know a person with a disability in the first place, but if you take the time to get to know us, you will learn a lot more than what you expected. We have a perspective on life that many people do not have. We don’t take anything for granted, and often times the simplest things make us smile and laugh. Don’t be scared to make a fool of yourself when getting to know someone with a disability. I make a fool of myself at least five times a day, then laugh and move on.
I never expected everyone to be my friend or even like me, but I want everyone to at least know my story. I am from New Jersey; I am extremely into politics; I love watching TV and movies, and I love to laugh. And yes, I am voting for President Barack Obama and am proud of it. I love Lady Gaga and am excited to see her live in February. I realize that I am not the only one with a story at this school. We were all admitted or came to this school because our individual stories led us here. It is vital to our community that we share our stories with one another. I want to hear your story. I am here to grow and learn just like you.
Jaggar DeMarco is a freshman majoring in political communication.