A question from an advisor

During this integration experience, all of the students at my college have been paired off into groups that are comprised of all of their hall-mates. We were brought to these empty conference or classrooms, and there was this professor that served as an advisor for all of us incoming freshman. This woman was trying to facilitate discussion among the 40 of us, and most people were quiet and mumbly. 

  This strange crowd induced handicap prompted our advisor to ask us a question. She was wondering why our generation was so afraid to speak up among its peers. She was wondering why when we’d speak, we’d be quiet, or no one would speak. Well, the answer was apparent among us all, and it had to do with how our generation treats each other. Most will make a side comment if you say something incorrect, or if you keep talking, they will talk amongst themselves. This generation is full of snapchat, yik yak, and instagram, and all of these platforms with which we can share our new ‘friend’s’ ugly expression, or a video of something they’re doing while they aren’t noticing we’re filming, or any anonymous comment about how stupid they are. We are asked to answer questions around these people who may do these things. Honestly, our generation doesn’t respect the vulnerability that someone allows to share their thoughts about something within a group of 40 strangers. Instead, there are side comments, and that is all that those people commenting say within that room, they don’t put themselves in that same situation the person who they criticized did.

     So some may say “well then that person shouldn’t speak up and put themselves in that situation, of course people are going to be mean and judgmental”. The result of that advice is the cause of this instance in which a professor had to ask why no one seemed to speak up. Because, they feel like they may as well not be stuck in that situation with judgmental peers.

The mentality that may carry over

Hello all,
   I promised that I would write some posts for you while I’m in college, and college classes officially start this next week for me, so I thought now would be a good time to tell you all how my integration this first weekend has been so far, and my observations.

   Many people come to college full of possibility, while others are full of confusion, and some are just there because that’s what you’re supposed to do, or because that’s the ticket to ‘freedom’, this elusive concept we chase. Freedom means different things to different people. To some, freedom is living in my country. To the country’s adolescent habitants… Not so much. To my generation, freedom is to escape this ideal of ourselves that our parents have tried so hard to force us, or at least influence us to be. For some of my future fellow classmates, this is the releasing of a very strong dam, and the water in that dam holds many questionable desires, and experiences they have yet to be given the permission to explore. Depending on the person, this opportunity can be good and bad, it depends on the person experiencing it, and the people who may judge it. Some people may accompany their high school friends to the college that I’m attending this year, and they’ll feel comfortable. They know people, maybe a lot of people. To them, this may feel like an unencumbered version of high school where the childhood dream comes true– to basically live next to all of your closest friends. There is nothing wrong with a safety net, or something comfortable, but I feel like this is a protective bubble around their college experience. To stay in the role that we’ve become accustomed to playing is an easy task. We’ve identified with that role. Some may be the high school cheerleaders, jocks, hipsters, cool people, nerds, or the alternative styled people. Regardless of our role, in college, there are so many people that used to occupy that same role, but in their own little world. Your role is no longer something that places you on this pedestal for adoration, but rather serves as a common ground between you and the others who used to share that path, or still do. In college, there is but one task that seems to be completed by the end. It’s not really a task even, but maybe a process that happens to few, or to many. It’s this grand experiment that takes away all boundaries (legal boundaries not included of course, but even then there are temptations for some). Within this experience is that process I was referring to, and it may be finding yourself. It doesn’t matter to anyone if you we’re popular in high school, there’s no way to be the ‘most popular one’ among thousands. To deviate from our role, but remain true to ourselves is a difficult task. I can only imagine how hard it is to shed this identity that you’ve had for 4 years of high school, only to have a clean slate in college.

   My experience was different in high school. I’ve been homeschooled most of my life, public schooled for some of my beginning years, and then halfway through high school I went to the community college in my area for classes instead, because I was able to. I don’t have high school friends that I’m following, or who are following me, to college. I barely know a soul here, other than those who I’ve had to reach out to. So far, I can spot those in a crowd who have known each other for a long time, and who are not deviating from their ‘squad’ and I can’t help but think they’re missing this interesting part of the college experience. It’s intimidating to go to a place where you have no friends, and you have to show others who you are. Most people don’t make rude side comments to their new acquaintances about somebody else in the room. Those are habits that yes, some people have life long and it doesn’t matter their schooling or circumstance, but it baffles me that I’ve seen how little tact most of these groups of friends have.

   I recognize that there are bullies in every walk of life, and in every circumstance, but it’s just a shame to me that these new young adults are treating strangers with such disrespect because they are coddled by the comfort of accompanying their peers into this intimidating experience.

College bound

It’s strange to think that tomorrow I’ll be heading to my college to move in. I’m going to drive up to the place I will be living for the next four years bright and early. It was an unimaginable concept just years ago that I’d move into a dorm and would not be living with my parents anymore. I’m scared, but excited, nervous, and at the same time confident. I don’t know what this journey will hold for me in the end. Many people switch their majors, and many people have life changing experiences in college. I’m confident that this is the right choice for me. It just doesn’t feel real.  I’m used to staying close to home. Being in France was a stretch for me, I was relieved to be home. Hopefully I find my college to be a home away from home, I’m sure I will. Right now though, that seems far gone. I absolutely adore the college that I chose, and the location that it is in. I can’t wait to spend all of the seasons on my campus and see it transform. I can’t wait to become friends with my hall-mates, and I can’t wait to experience what it’s like at a four-year university. I’m excited about this next chapter of my life, and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out. I will try to post as much as I can (I know that I always say that, but I mean it) during the semesters, and definitely over breaks.