Saturday September 24, 2016

Enduring Friendships Derive from Community

Growing up I didn't have a best friend. No, that's not where this is going--this isn't a sob story about my childhood, it's just a fact.

Because of either bad luck or miscommunication, I had to switch schools multiple times.  Combined with my introverted behavior, establishing enduring friendships was rare for me.  Before coming to UD, I had gone to three different high schools. Plus, I was set up to move down south twice during middle school but things never panned out. As a result, there were no necklaces with split hearts or plans for matching tattoos.

Nonetheless, coming into freshman year at Dayton I knew that this would be the first place I would spend a full four years with the same people. I was excited but at the same time, fearful.  I had no idea how this thing worked. 'Thing' being making connections and long-lasting friends. (Un)Luckily for me, when I got here I was on crutches from an ACL surgery done over the summer. Since I was crutching everywhere, especially in and out of my room to get water, I always kept my dorm room door swung wide open. Living on the ground floor of Founders Hall where the majority of people enter and exit before going to class, in addition to the trash room and water fountain being located right in front of my room, I got to meet almost anyone and everyone in the dorm without leaving my bed.

When I was allowed to one-crutch and then walk, I was able to hang out with my floor mates and meet new people. Through this, I met two of my best friends.

Community is a word that is thrown around on campus very often. And because of how often it is thrown around I thought it was a joke but, I came to find out that the word and idea of community is something that the university takes very seriously. As often as the word is thrown around, so is the generosity and friendliness. With this, I was able to make best friends who could deal with my introverted and idiosyncratic behavior.

This summer, one of them came to visit along with two of our close friends. If someone had told me that I would have people visit me outside of Brooklyn during the summer, I would have laughed straight in their face.

UD has made all that possible.

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