I’m a proud wonk

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by John Waaben


Do you know what that word means? I do. It’s the embodiment of who I am. I am the supreme fucking force of good on this campus. I am the expert on everything I study, while also managing a crippling addiction to adderall and alcohol. That’s a wonk. That’s who I am.

When I walk into classes people start applauding. The tears come when I start articulating myself. I never talk over anyone despite how wrong they may be. That’s right, I’m not problematic either.

Professors write “thank you” on my papers. Clawed uses his fake to buy me alcohol from local liquor stores. Sylvia Burwell and I are in a committed long-term relationship.

I am your RA. I am your RA’s RA. I am already in your room resolving your petty dirty laundry disputes and confiscating your five dollar bottle of wine.

I love Disney movies. I love Harry Potter. I am a Hufflepuff. I'm an ambivert; fluctuating between being an INTJ and an ENTJ, but always staying true to who I am as a person.

I’ve been the student body president for three years while maintaining a 4.0 GPA, five internships (three unpaid), nine federal work-study jobs, and a committed long-term relationship (with Sylvia Burwell). I also volunteer at DC Central Kitchen 40 hours a week.

I get along with my parents. They met each other while interning at the White House and now work at CNN as policy analysts. I have formed my political beliefs independently of them.

In high school I started the debate club and Model United Nations club, watching them both fall apart after I left for American University, an elite liberal arts college in our nation’s beautiful capital. I will never to return to my meager, unenlightened hometown.

I support students of color by liking their posts on Facebook.

I triple major in SIS, CLEG, and Finance with a minor in Cinema Studies. I am a Microsoft Office Specialist Expert and Bloomberg Terminal certified. I spend my weekends at job interviews.

I am graduating a year early and starting a nonprofit with my fraternity buddies and sorority sisters. Our mission is to help disadvantaged Southeast Asian women develop their Social Media brand.

You may not like it, but this is what a wonk is. That’s what I’ll always be and have always striven to be. American University really helped me spread my wings. Are you a wonk too?

[Originally published October 19, 2017.]