Two words: Alexander Hamilton.
Anyone that knows me personally immediately recognizes (and is annoyed by) my complete obsession with the musical Hamilton.
For those who aren’t aware of the Broadway phenomenon, Hamilton is a musical unlike any other that precedes it. Telling the life story of the “ten dollar Found Father” Alexander Hamilton, Hamilton shines in the way that it incorporates rap, hip-hop, and R&B in order to tell the history of our nation.
You’ll often find yourself rapping about “America’s favorite fighting Frenchman” Marquis de Lafayette, or you might even find yourself sitting in your dorm room crying about how Hamilton’s wife Eliza established an orphanage in his honor… I may or may not speak from personal experiences here.
Just like any well-written piece of literature should, Hamilton really forces you to think about things. Hamilton’s “non-stop” work ethic makes you question your own level of dedication towards your studies, while Thomas Jefferson’s contradictory views of freedom and slavery evokes a question of conflicting statements from today’s own political figures.
If anyone could recall one thing about Mr. Aaron Burr, it would most likely be the fact that he was constantly switching his political views simply to obtain popularity. No one knew what he actually believed in, or felt passionate about. Literally half of the play is Hamilton exerting his frustrations about how “[he] doesn’t understand how [Burr] stand[s] to the side.”
This being said, I can’t shake this one particular quote because of the massive truth underlying Hamilton’s words. If you do stand for NOTHING, what WILL you fall for? I’ve just never heard a phrase with so much truth to it! It’s hard for me to really put into words how much I ponder this question.
I’m a freshman in college, and if there’s one thing I can confirm, it’s that being a freshman at a large university is intimidating. I’m slowly but surely meeting new people, experiencing new things, and finding out all the good spots to go in the classic city, but it’s also not all fun and games.
Being in such a new environment takes adjustment; it’s intimidating. A large portion of this intimidation stems from not exactly knowing where I fit in in the larger scheme of things. I’ve only been in college for a month, so I know it’s okay for me to not exactly know yet. But it’s an odd feeling.
After spending four years in high school, you most likely know where you feel most comfortable. I need to find that place. I need to find a place where I can proudly let others know what I’m passionate about and what I’m not so passionate about.
When people speak of me, I want them to speak of how I advocate for equality, how I’m passionate about LGBTQ rights, and how I KNOW what I stand for. I’m well aware of what I stand for, and I want others to be conscious of their own beliefs.
They say to be the change that you want to see in the world, and thanks to the wise lyrics of master-mind Lin Manuel Miranda, Hamilton always reminds me of the importance of standing up for what you truly believe in. If we stand for nothing, we’ll fall for anything.
This is just one of the many thought-provoking topics that Hamilton brings to the table. If you haven’t listened to the cast album, it is one experience that I definitely recommend.