LUIS PEREZ LERCHUNDI
As a senior, these last months have been months of intense reflection over the last four years of my life.
Three and a half years ago, I came to the United States for the first time. I was just a young man, ready to have adventures in a different country for an undefined amount of time.
I didn´t know if I would stay to study one year, two years or the four years for a degree. I wanted to study journalism, of that I was sure, but I didn´t have any intention of staying, or of trying out the well-known “American Dream.”
My first year here was at the University of Pikeville in Kentucky, and my first impressions of this country were not the most positive.
The people there asked me questions like “Have you come to find a better life? Or to live the American Dream?” or “Did you come to get married to get a green card?” and many more messages that showed the ignorance of the students in that place. My year in Kentucky was not the best, but for some reason, I still wanted to stay in the United States; I wanted to try new things.
So I switched universities, and luckily came to one where they actually knew where Spain was on a map. They even knew that Spain was a part of Europe and that we spoke Spanish (which some people in Kentucky were incredibly unaware of).
But I never even started to think that I would like to stay a long time in Goshen. There are many things here that don’t fit with the lifestyle that I wanted to develop when I left home. But something unexpected drew me to Goshen. Fairly soon I realized why I wanted to stay here: the people. The people that I have known are what has made this journey to the United States a wonderful one.
But not everything is perfect. I think that Goshen College has a great variety of students that you can get to know if you leave your comfort zone a bit.
Yesterday I spoke with one of my best friends here, Phil Longenecker, about the first time that we talked. We both had made an effort to get to know each other, and from then until now, those decisions have been some of the best of my college life.
In April I will get my diploma, but what´s more important to me is the quality of people that I have known, and with them, the experiences we have shared.
The people of Goshen come from all over: from different U.S. states, Brazil, Hungary, Norway, Sri Lanka, India, Argentina and many others. The diversity is so great I can´t even think of covering it in one article.
If you can find the time, don´t even think twice. Get to know the people that don´t occupy your immediate social circle; those who may be a little bit out of your comfort zone. You won´t regret it.