Wow! Like everyone else has said, this semester has absolutely flown by. I remember during the first few weeks of school wondering whether or not I was going to handle the social situation of all these kids that I had very little in common with. I did miss my family, my friends, and my comfort back home for the entire semester, but that feeling was especially strong in the first few weeks. My peers at Oxy had all been extremely friendly, and almost without exception, they have proven to be caring, compassionate, and outgoing people. Now, I understand that people at any college are probably more friendly than the average population, however it took a while for me to come around the realization that this is how ALL people CAN BE. What’s more, I had always imagined that the historic class struggle would keep me from ever really penetrating their ranks.
With this realization it was very easy for me to make friends. I’ve never been, by any means, a socially estranged person, but I think I can finally understand how some might sense an alienation and let it confine them. For me, it was that a few people went out of there way to be kind to me that this became possible. They were my gateway to a larger population at the school. While still existent, those feelings of loneliness and distance from familiarity were significantly downplayed. I am appreciative then for my new friends who have made being away a genuinely great experience and who have taken the pain out of it. I genuinely believe that without them I probably would have performed much worse this semester (grades were 3 A’s and a B — the B was in a math class). I guess what I’m saying is that, especially at a residential college, social interactions are a part of the equation. I would caution all people though to watch the company you keep because new friends might be detrimental to your success, something thus far I have tried to avoid.