Coming to a university, especially one with close to 30,000 students, can be an incredibly intimidating thing. You may not know anyone or you may know a few people, but chances are that you don’t know too many. It is because of this situation that incoming freshman, and all students and staff for that matter, need to not judge a book by its cover.
I’m an adult student veteran and a person who doesn’t look injured, but I have a lot of pain from past injuries. One thing that I have learned from this is that people have a tendency to judge others, even on things that can’t be seen with the naked eye.
I often can’t take the stairs because of my mild degenerative disc disease that radiates pain from my mid-back into my hips and knees, ultimately making the stairs my official worst enemy. But how would anyone know that? I don’t exhibit that I’m in pain but as I enter the elevator as a healthy looking young woman, I get glares. So next time you see someone in Sandburg or Bolton Hall taking the elevator from floor one to three, think twice before automatically passing judgment.
Now I’m not saying any of this for sympathy or empathy, I’m simply trying to prove a point that we don’t know what goes on in the lives of others, which makes it extra important to love everyone and show everyone support. When we judge others by their looks or ailments, we close ourselves off to new possible friendships, love and experiences. We’re in college to have all of those things, right?
So why would you close yourself off to new people simply because they don’t look like someone you would usually be friends with? College is a place filled with diverse people around every corner, so why not embrace these new people that you could really learn something from? When we open ourselves up to new people and things, we open ourselves up to love, happiness and knowledge. I’m not trying to sound like I’m a hippie from the 70’s, but maybe they had a point with their whole “peace and love” mindset.
All I’m asking is for everyone, especially freshmen, to really embrace new people and things so that you can have the most amazing college experience as possible. Once you have embraced this concept, it will be a whole lot easier to say, “I have lived.”