Belonging: A transfer student’s take on finding a community

Perhaps the most valued experience in human nature is to feel connected to a community of like-minded people. Since starting my first semester at Geneseo, I have felt this sense of belonging on campus. I worried that it would be difficult to find “my people” as a transfer, as most students in my classes had already established their friend groups, just as I had at my previous college. Luckily, it took almost no time for me to feel at home, and to have a special collection of people with whom I enjoy spending my time.

I am a person who struggles with adjustment; I don’t like change, and it takes me a little longer to adapt to new things in my life. This was the case when I arrived at Geneseo this fall. I was uncomfortable and nervous at first, which caused me to build a lot of walls with the people around me. As I got more comfortable and started to get to know my suitemates more, I started to open up, and now they are the people closest to me on campus. A similar situation happened with my softball team, but it was an easier adjustment as my suitemates also play. The softball girls spend every weekend together at the softball house, and even when our games or team meetings are over, we go out together. Through the softball team, I’ve become friends with members of both the baseball team and the swim team, and I’ve met a lot of great people from various Greek organizations. Being a part of an athletic team on campus is a crucial part of my positive experience at Geneseo because I was able to have an almost instant group of friends who shared similar values and interests, and they introduced me to others who share these same things.

The confidence and comfort that I gained from being a part of a team carried over into my academic life, too. I have grown more comfortable talking to my classmates, and I have even started to see some friends in my classes or in passing when I’m going to class. As a biology major, I spend a lot of time in Newton Hall and the ISC, so I have started to talk to some students who also take the majority of their courses in these buildings. Not only does this add to my sense of belonging at school, but it makes me more at ease whenever I participate in class discussions. The people in my major are more than willing to help if I have a question on an assignment or lab, and their kindness and welcoming attitudes toward someone they’ve never talked to is reassuring. The community I’ve met from being a biology major is wonderful, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

Since starting school this fall, I’ve worked hard to make my college experience the most enjoyable it can be. I look forward to going to classes, seeing my friends, and being with my teammates at the softball house on the weekends. Having a sense of belonging is the key to happiness; we are all trying to fit in somewhere. My community is made up of other student-athletes, but everyone seems to find their own community based on their particular niche. Those who are interested in art, or music, or Greek life, tend to gravitate toward others with those passions, but Geneseo’s diverse population of students are open and friendly toward those who may have different personalities or ideas of fun. I’m glad that it was so easy to find “my people” and for college to feel like home at last.

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