Culture shocks

My name is Guadalupe Alicea. I am from the Bronx, and this is my first semester at SUNY Geneseo. I chose to attend Geneseo because I outgrew the environment I call home, and needed to leave to allow myself to grow further. Before coming to Geneseo, I overthought myself into a hole and convinced myself I would feel so out of place being so far from home. But when I got here, my thoughts could not have been further from the truth. From the moment my family and I pulled up, every student and staff member we encountered was welcoming and looked genuinely excited for the class of 2025.

During the orientation period, I admit I was reserved because I like to observe a unique environment before immersing myself in it. I quickly learned that Geneseo has an overall friendly community where it is normal to smile and pick up a conversation with a stranger just because you like their top or if you happen to be standing in line next to them. This, along with other experiences, was quite a culture shock for me. For example, my orientation group had to stand up from our seats and gather in a circle in the middle of the room for an exercise. I stood up and quickly gathered all my things and joined the circle. I saw everyone in the circle had their hands empty. I looked over to the desks, they had left phones, wallets, and other items of value unattended on the desk. As small as it was, this action baffled me.

Encounters like this fueled my imposter syndrome. I wondered why I seemed so different from everyone else. We enjoy different things. We talk differently. We are even different in the speed at which we walk. I constantly remind myself that our contrasts are the whole point of college, to give students a taste of the real world, where you meet all kinds of people every day.

Regarding my expectations for my theatre class, they were exceeded. I saw Theatre on my schedule and was concerned that it would be more of a history class, but it is the most useful class I have because I take skills from the lessons that I can immediately use in other classes.

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