You WILL Make Friends (And Potentially Alienate People)

It seems to me there’s been a little too much bad news lately, with the debt ceiling conversation and the continued concern about the economy. It’s about time someone talked about something positive.

Here’s the thing. If you’re in college you know it, if you’re nearly there you’re about to learn.

College is different than high school, for a lot of reasons. The difference might be less drastic depending on how large your high school was and how small your college campus is, but for me there was one big change: variety of people. I’ll be the first to confess, I went to a small high school. A small high school lacking in so-called “diversity”. But even if you had variety at your school, it’s not like this.

Colleges have not only various racial and religious backgrounds, but cultural backgrounds as well. People from all over the country are suddenly going to the same school–people with different accents, different ideas, different clothes.

What this means–as many of you know–is that there WILL be people you can get along with. Even if you never felt like you fit in, or you’re shy and scared, college has someone like you, or someone completely not like you, for you to get along with.

I won’t say my freshman year was easy. It’s never easy doing something new, especially when you’re as shy as I am. But the thing we college veterans understand is this; everyone’s in the same boat. With even just a little effort, you can make friends.

On the flip side, when you’re thrown into a place with a bunch of brand new people, you’re going to alienate someone, too.

Small town Ohio usually means you live under a rock… and I’ll admit there are some things I’m not used to seeing on a big scale. I try to keep an open mind, so for me seeing openly gay people, or people from other countries wasn’t offensive–just different. But in a big community, slammed together on a small campus, taking classes together, you’re bound to meet someone you don’t agree with. Maybe you deal with it maturely and just ignore them, maybe you get in a fist fight, or something in between. But on the flip side of you will make friends, you’ll probably alienate someone, too. That’s okay. It means you’ve got opinions, and you’re willing to defend them.

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