I’ve never really struggled being a part of a social group. I was born and raised in Miami and in my opinion I am very similar to those around me. Having English as a second language, and the routine of having to sit next to my grandmother and watch the 8:00pm telenovela was normal. When I lived in Miami, English was only spoken in school. Sometimes not even that, when I wasn’t around a teacher I would speak to in Spanish. I didn’t know anything else, for me this was a common practice. With time however, I did learn to dominate the English language, so when I arrived to Goshen College I did not really have a problem communicating with others; it was the difference in communication style that was very different.
Within Latinos, though we may be strangers there is a sense of familiarity in conversations. We are known to be very friendly people and we enjoy engaging in dialogue. One of my biggest fears arriving to Goshen was the fear of not being able to communicate with others in the way that I had done in the past. But I soon realized there are excellent resources that allow me to have a balance with what I’ve always known and what I am still learning. Before getting to Goshen I was concerned that there wouldn’t be many Latinos which I could engage with. Goshen College has been a blessing in the sense that there are many Latinos that I am friends with; yet it has given me the opportunity to befriend people are not Latino as well. I have found great friendships with both Latino and non-Latino students on campus.
Goshen College has opened my eyes, and have given me the chance to meet people who are different than I am. These experiences will only benefit me in the future. Though the change from Miami to Goshen was difficult at first, I realized I was not the only one feeling lost at first. In the Latino Student Union I met many students who I shared a lot the same experiences with. I made great bonds with these students. I have also been able to learn able cultures of countries around the world but as well as cultures within this country.