The Cafeteria

One of my major concerns leaving my hometown to come to Dickinson College was my ability to socialize and make friends. At home and in high school I was, in my own way, someone that had established his own personality and reputation. I felt accepted; I was comfortable here. It is a feeling that I enjoy. However, the moment I stepped foot onto the campus and began icebreakers with my orientation group, I realized that I could no longer assume that people my name or even of me. I was a nobody; I was just another body walking around awkwardly, trying to talk to everyone they met in an attempt to find people they could call friends. Since I had been born and raised in the same location, it was a relatively new feeling. This feeling was intensified when I walked into the cafeteria the day after the upperclassmen moved in to see hundreds of people whom I had never met before, but instantly recognized and conversed with each other upon sight. Just like high school, friends ate together in a groups.  There were meals where I would sit at an empty table, inwardly hoping that someone that I was even slightly familiar with from orientation week to approach and eat with me. In the early days on my stay at Dickinson College, the cafeteria, to me, was often a place of loneliness and solitude than a place to catch up with friends.

As I continued to live here, I have become familiar with several people whom I can now call my friends. The cafeteria became busier as the upperclassmen joined the freshmen, but I have found my own group to eat with. While it is still early, I am beginning to feel a sense of community; a feeling that I belong here. The campus is less intimidating now; I am excited to meet even more people and establish a presence at this “home” as I had back home.