College creates connections

by Remington Layne

laynere@mnstate.edu

The school year is about to close, and for a lot of us it’s the end of the first year of a new lifestyle. For some it’s the end of an era in their youth and a start to a new life beyond college.

However, one of the unifying things that binds us together in this spectrum is this: We have all experienced, learned and grown.

No matter what or where we’re at in our lives, every single one of us is constantly experiencing. These experiences allow us to share views, broaden each other’s understandings and, most importantly, connect with one another. Making these connections allows us to not only understand others and the world, but ourselves as well. The more we experience and the more people we experience, the more we get to know ourselves.

These changes can be hard or scary; sometimes they hit our egos and we don’t know how to accept them in a positive way.

However, we must all understand that every single one of us is going through this and we aren’t in it alone. And college is the perfect time to recognize this.

All throughout my school year, I have met people from all over the world and I have had the opportunity to experience a glimpse of their culture, of their thoughts, views and ideas. Some cultures base success on an emotional level, others on the material. Some cultures have their own ideas of what is rude, polite, vulgar, classy, intelligent, etc. and some other cultures may oppose that.

So, never be weary of changing your mind, never be hesitant to change your style (whether it’s clothes, likes/dislikes or just the way you do things), to explore new things and people that come your way, because it is a beautiful thing to get to experience someone and something in their most real form.

I believe if we all do this it opens the gate for everyone to come together in unity, in acceptance, to allow people to see that we are all multifaceted. It allows people to see that just because one person doesn’t like something about you, it doesn’t mean there can’t be millions of individuals across the world from other cultures that do like what you do, like how you look and appreciate who you are. That’s one of the most important things I have learned since starting my first year of college: there is no absolute standard of perfection, beauty, success or favorability.

What I took from all this is that we should never be self-conscious, self-loathing and we should never wish to be anyone else but ourselves, because it is unique, and our unique selves are appreciated by so many people.

I’ve seen people, including myself, grow because of different people and cultures coming together and sharing their experiences. It’s how I knew I wanted to change my major to International Studies and Communications and even minor in Norwegian.

So, as you all look back on this year, see how much you’ve experienced, learned and grown, and then appreciate all of those wonderful moments that allowed you to do so. And always remember that you created those moments for someone else as well.

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