Remember when I talked about those new and strange people at my university?
This is my favorite part of being in college. I have grown up in the South and although my family is not your traditional conservative Southern family, the vast majority of people I associated with in school and extra curriculars had been raised in those types of homes. Every girl was a Scarlet and every boy was a Rhett. You were looked down on and belittled if you weren’t in church every Sunday (how ironic, right?). Rudeness or bluntness was not tolerated. Instead, you said “Well, bless your heart” and waited until they were well out of earshot to begin politely stabbing them in the back. Gossip was whispered in the sweetest manner over the sweetest tea.
Even though I’m still in the same place I’ve been for 18 years, college feels like a whole other world. There is so much diversity here on this single campus. I thought my high school was huge. It had 2000 students and my graduating class had well over 400. Then I got to college and it’s like being in a little city! There are 27,000 people here!
27,000 people who are all different and beautiful in their own ways. 27,000 people who all believe different things, who are all intelligent in different ways, who are all dreaming different dreams and hoping different hopes.
And I think that is magical.
I think we spend so much time wishing people were more like us so that we can have “someone to relate to” or “someone who understands me.” We’re so egocentric that we fail every day to see that it’s our differences that make us fit together so wonderfully.
If you bought a puzzle and all the pieces were identical, could you ever possibly put it together smoothly?
I think Jane Austen hit the nail on the head when she said, “Perhaps it is our imperfections that make us so perfect for one another.”
It used to anger me that people had prejudices or that they were racist/homophobic/xenophobic/theophobic/etc. I grew up in an area of the country that had seceded from the Union, had come up with an idea as stupid as the KKK, and still (some 150 years later) has a huge racism epidemic. As I have grown, though, I’ve learned to pity these people. Their prejudices are nothing but fears of the unknown. And I don’t find that abhorrent. I find that very, very sad.
So, to wrap it all up, I am very excited to get to know these new people. I have already made some wonderful friends and although I don’t expect to meet the other 26,999 people on campus, I hope I continue to meet new faces.
I know that everyone will be different and beautiful and perfect in its own way.
Goodnight, lovely world!