Hypothetical situation: I’m sitting in the dining hall, eating my fair share of something that’s not fish, and a person I’ve never seen before, a first-year student perchance, walks in.
Realistic reaction from me: instant judgment!
As much as it pains me to admit it (OK, fine, it’s not much pain), I have a habit of immediately judging people based on their looks, attire, stride, entourage and general vibes I receive.
I realize that this make me seem like a jerk, which very well could be true, but I have no remorse about that. Truly, if I feel bad about anything, it’s how little I know the first-years and new transfer students.
I was gone this past semester on SST and upon my return I knew no one. I’m sure the strangers among me had similar feelings about the scruffy-looking males and mysterious females marching around campus during the final weeks of last semester.
I experienced this same phenomenon after Cambodia SST-ers waltzed into the cafeteria when I was still an underclassman. I won’t lie, it was intimidating. All these cool, bearded upperclassmen I had never seen before, walking around like they owned the place. So naturally that’s what I set out to accomplish after my three months in China.
I hope I succeeded! I hope all you first-year students were wondering who I was and what I was doing in your precious dinning hall. I hope that emotions filled each and every one of you, fear being second only to reverence.
I also hope that you will have more courage than I did. I’m still intimidated by certain seniors, or at least the idea of them. I still need to psych myself up when addressing the occasional elder.
But building relationships between ages and semesters is not a one-way street. Upperclassmen, especially those who missed fall semester, need to do their fair share. I, for one, haven’t. I spend 90 percent of my time holed up in the library or the Hub doing homework. The other 10 percent is spent sleeping.
This is honestly just a call to all first-years and transfers who I don’t know. Let me know you.
Facetiously, you should dress and act according to what will please me. That way I’ll positively judge you and be more likely to interact with you. Truthfully, you should just come introduce yourself to me. Please, I’m quite lonely sometimes.