It has been a while since the last time I had a chance to stop by and write about what is going on here at Westminster College.
A couple weeks back I receive an invitation to participate on a little marketing research to determine the college's strengths that should be the focus of the advertisement campaigns. Anyway, among many different discussed topics we talked about how inclusive is our campus and the sense of community that can be found across the college. At first I was hesitant to say that I felt like we were an inclusive community. However, after careful evaluation of my current situation and acknowledging the many good relationships that I have developed on these two semesters, I have to say: I have found my place in our community.
Now, why is this important to the marketing company? and even more why should this be important to all of us? Well, everybody is looking to belong somewhere; that is the very reason why we chose friends, activities and relationships. We need to feel like we belong! This couldn't be more important, in a completely primary level the sense of community is one of our basic needs as human beings and a major factor in determining our attitudes and personal trials as we evolve and mature.
During our time as students we are expected to prepare ourselves to provide society with the best of our service in whatever area we chose to develop. I believe it is not possible to achieve this goal if we do not enjoy our time making mistakes and killing ourselves trying to fix these mistakes. I believe that being part of a close community is a great part of enjoying our time as students. Think about it in this way, no matter our choices today (good or not as good) they are OUR decisions, and no matter what we will never have the chance to take the same decision on the exact same situation and time ever again. We don't know what will happen in 10, 5 or 1 year from now, even more we don't even know what will happen 15 minutes from now. So we might as well be with the people we like, in the place we belong while not knowing what the future will bring to us!
This open the discussion to two dilemmas; first, how do I find my place on this large community? And second, how do I make sure everyone else feels like they can belong if they choose to? Finding our place in a larger community is not as complicated, it all comes down to determine who we are and what we like to do. For me I am a transfer student who really love to play volleyball. I've played VB for years and when I transfer here I learned about the indoor VB club. I decided I would gave it a try and soon enough I was part or a community of people who share the love for the game as much as I do; eventually I developed good relationships with some of the students who attend to the games. I would say this; being part of a community begins with you.
Finally, I believe we are responsible to ensure everybody has the chance to find their place in our community. It is true that we can't force anybody to enjoy the things that we like; however I believe it is our duty to ensure that everyone is free to express what they like in hopes to find mind-like people to develop friendships and build communities. That is our responsibility, and as long as we continue to do that we can see our large community evolve and grow while new smaller communities are built and create.
I hope we can all relate and keep in mind our first times on campus while we tried to find our place. I hope we all had people who were willing and open to accept who we were. And I hope we become the people who accepts and invites new comers to open themselves to this amazing campus community!