People often say that you will find yourself in college. I don’t think that’s true. It’s not like the real youis out there hiding somewhere, and you have to find it in some estranged game of Hide-and-Seek. No, I like to think of college as a place to create yourself. To find out what you’re interested in and, more importantly, what you aren’t.
When I first stepped onto the Hanover College campus I made a pact with myself: to step out of my comfort zone. I knew from high school that I was good at saxophone, but was pretty uncoordinated otherwise. So naturally, I gravitated toward the band. But I didn’t want to just stay with this, I mean I did this all through high school. I wanted to try something new.
So what does one do when they’re uncoordinated? That’s right: BALLROOM DANCE! Walking into that room I was, at the very least, extremely nervous. Those nerves only intensified when I realized I was the only guy there. Luckily (or unluckily, I still haven’t decided), six more Y chromosomes showed up, and we all had a blast. I’ve actually found myself in intense anticipation for next week for an activity in which I pretty much had no previous interest. And this was only the beginning.
I suppose I forgot to mention this before, although it might be obvious by now, but I’m fairly socially awkward. I was always the kid who waited for someone else to strike up conversation and never dared say hi to anyone in the halls before they said hi first.
So I was pretty terrified when President DeWine told all of us that Hanover was a friendly campus, and if we didn’t wave when we saw her driving around she’d know immediately we were freshmen. I was terrified. I decided, though, to use this terror for good, and I started just saying hi to people as I passed them and started conversations while waiting in line at the CC or while chilling in Donner/Ide Lobby and you know what? It was great! The amount of connections and friendships I have now, just after three weeks, amazes me.
So step out of your comfort zone. Join a club you’d never think to join before. Be a friend to everyone. Perhaps most importantly though, stop playing hide-and-seek with yourself, and get your hands dirty in creating yourself. So Hanover, ready or not, here I come!