Hey y’all, I know it’s been awhile, but my life has been pretty crazy lately. Over the past couple of weeks I have been working (a lot of weekends), babysitting, house sitting (aka taking care of two dogs and 10 chickens), and doing research assignments. Things are starting to slow down now so I hope to be posting something at least once a week again. Anyways! I wanted to write out some advice for those who are getting ready for their first year of college. While the typical advice to read the syllabus, and try new things is all great, I want to share some advice that has helped me out a lot in my two years in school.
Alright, so depending on where you are going off to school, it is very easy to get stuck in the bubble of your own campus. While all the actives, programs, and clubs your school has to offer are probably really convenient and really fun, I recommend expanding that bubble into the community the school is in. When I first got to UVA everyone talked about the “UVA bubble” and the disparity between those who actually attend the university and those who live in the city of the university. When I heard about this and started to understand what the bubble was, I quickly started to find ways to “infiltrate” the community and try to get a better picture where I was living. What I think we as college students forget is that we are only here for 4 years, but this is the permanent home to thousands of other people. So in my mind, we are their guest and we should try to serve them, and be as appreciative to them as possible.
I first started getting involved in the greater Charlottesville community by tutoring in various middle schools. This allowed to me help out some kids, as well as get a greater understanding of the social economic diversity that is so apparent in this city. Moving into my second year I finally decided on a church to call my home. This became a great place to meet people who are not associated with the university at all, which I think is huge. Side note: When looking for churches don’t be afraid to try out places that don’t have the largest student representation in their congregation. Basically I encourage you to develop relationships with people and organizations who are not associated with the school, they can be a nice escape from the hustle and bustle going on at school, and I guarantee they have a lot of restaurant recommendations that will rock your world.