Walter Smith Randolph

“Oh my God, Detroit is so shady” was a frequent response that I heard many Villanovans say as people began to inquire about a potential road trip to The Motor City. I must admit that Detroit did appear to be pretty desolate. But, what I didn’t understand was how everyone knew that it was “so shady.”

Every time I make the journey back from my hometown to the wonderful Main Line, I often think of how much Villanovans can be entrapped into the picturesque “Villanova bubble.” When I first got here, I wondered why everyone was smiling at me and I had my first encounter with wild deer and rabbits. I survived. Every time someone mentioned anything about venturing to another stop along the R5 or beyond Bryn Mawr, everything became “so shady.”

Everything is not shady. Yes, not everyone is going to hold the door for you or give you a jolly “Good Morning” every day, but the entire world is not out to get you. There is a phenomenon called “The Mean World Syndrome” where people think that the world is more dangerous than it actually is due to violence portrayed through the mass media (yes, I learned that in a Communication class). It seems as if a lot of Villanovans have developed this syndrome because somehow, everyone in Detroit was out to get them.

If you haven’t noticed, Villanova is located just outside of Philadelphia. Yes, Lancaster Avenue does venture beyond City Line Avenue. The last time I checked, Philly isn’t Pleasantville but no city is. Every city has its crime and its violence. Every city has its ups and down, just like the town of good ol’ Villanova, P.A. South Campus shooter anyone? The point is to be safe, make smart decisions, and to not think that everything is shady. No one thinks anything is shady when you pull into a Philly street on a big yellow bus, dressed to the nines, and sloppily walk into the formal venue of choice with your unidentified water bottle. I’m sure the people in that neighborhood think that’s shady.