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November 11, 2013

1

I’m Basically a Tumbleweed

Me. (Photo from The Gazette)

Me. (Photo from The Gazette)

I have a lot of friends.

I don’t mean that in like a “GUIZE LOOK I’M SO KEWL!” sort of way, but more so in an “I’m glad to be part of a community in which a large, fluid social structure is possible.”

In high school, I was a Music Kid. Most of my friends were in choir or orchestra or the musical or something similar, and we spent a lot of our time talking about music stuff etc. I spent very little time with people that were outside of my school’s music network, and therefore didn’t get to know the majority of people in my graduating class of 430ish students.

And the thing was, I was totally fine with just being a Music Kid. Because I didn’t want to know the Jocks or the Anime Kids or the Skateboard Kids or any of those people. They were different and we didn’t have anything in common and there didn’t seem to be much of a point to getting to know these people if we were all so dissimilar.

Basically my high school. I really associated with Mean Girls.

Basically my high school. I really associated with Mean Girls.

But at Clark, I don’t have that issue. I have friends from my Week One PA group, my first-year residence hall, The Scarlet, Admissions, BLOGGING, Concert Band, Sinfonia, musical theatre, friendships by association, and some people where I don’t really know where they come from but I’m friends with them anyway.

It’s a really fluid situation. I can often roll through the Academic Commons or the Cafeteria and see a bunch of people that I know in various capacities. And sometimes I come home and I have friends sitting in my apartment, even though I didn’t even know that they were friends with my roommates.

So I’m sort of a tumbleweed. I roll from one group of people to another. When you’re at college, you do a lot more stuff outside of classes, and social life is much more flexible than it is in high school, which lets you make these kinds of broad networks of connections.

You, the analytic and skeptical reader, might think that many of these friendships that I’ve made through these different circles and associations would probably be very surface-level. And it’s true, there are some people that I wave to that I don’t know very well, and there is that small group of people that I know the best and care about the most. But this large group of people that I’ve gotten to know is very important to me.

They’re important to me as people, but they’re also important to me because I always have someone to turn to. I can walk into the cafeteria with no plan and just find someone to sit with. If I’m bored on a weekend I can text any number of people and find something fun to do. It makes me feel like I belong.

Clark, in its multitudinous student organizations and groups and associated things have helped me to grow this cushion of friendship (definitely a phrase I’m never using again) and become comfortable.

On day one, I saw a sea of 2,000 people I didn’t know. I was scared and frankly didn’t like it one bit. But now every time I wave to someone while passing through Red Square, I feel a little more at home.

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  1. Excuse me sir, but I am basically a tumbleweed. | Kevin Carriere

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