As I sit here, away from campus for a conference, for not more than four days and several hundred miles away, I still can’t help but miss home. I miss the love and the compassion of my dorm mates. I miss the smiles and laughter that is shared across the lounge. I miss the sense of belonging and identity in my corridor. I miss home.
It’s interesting to note that what keeps a human being going is not so much his external surroundings. It is more so his internal peace, balance and stability, and this is very largely contributed by the people that play a role in his life.
What’s the point I’m trying to make? Simply put, make your dorm your family. After all, you’ll be spending a good part of an entire year with them. At worst, it’ll be a group of students that live together, nothing more than that, but still get along with each other, solving their conflicts effectively. At best, it’ll be family – where you come to after a long day of classwork, after struggling with your test, after a difficult relationship, because they’ll be there to give you support, and will throw joy and excitement back into your life.
I remember the beautiful quote, “It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.” It’s true – you’ll personally have to be willing to genuinely get to know someone new, but make the small effort, and it will pay off into a well-developed relationship. “I’m sorry, I’m bad with names” was one of the most popular phrases during Orientation. We may think that some people simply have the natural ability to remember names, but it’s not actually an in-built talent. How do they do it, then? What is their secret? Nothing awe-inspiring – they simply have the deep and powerful desire to connect with everyone they meet and interact with.
All I ask of you is that once a week, only for five minutes, have a conversation with someone in your dorm that you’ve never interacted with before. Get to know who they are, where they come from, what they enjoy and don’t enjoy. You may or may not gel with that person, but it’ll be an experience, and over time, it’ll make you a more empathetic and connecting human being. I can say with certainty that you’ll learn from it.
Email Varun Desai at firstname.lastname@example.org