Today’s Tuesday with Tulsa comes from Lilly K., a sophomore Nursing major from Dallas, Texas.
The Hillel is my home away from home. When I came to college I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to find a Jewish community that I loved as much as the one I had back home. A place where everyone knows your name and are glad that you showed up to services, the holiday celebration or a baby naming. As soon as I arrived at the Fall Activities Fair, I searched the rows of tables, looking for the one for the Hillel. I knew that I needed to stay connected to my faith and community in some way or another. Since the day I walked up to the table and put my name on the list, I haven’t stopped showing up.
It’s Emily here. There may be no feeling more disconcerting than that of being a stranger in a familiar place. Most of the faces on campus are now foreign to me. I wasn’t here in the fall of 2008, so while I know a handful of this year’s seniors well, it really is only a handful. All of last year’s freshmen, this year’s sophomores, are total strangers, as are this year’s freshmen. I’m still not sure what to make of this. I’ve spent a good deal of my post-high school life being the new kid woman somewhere, and I’ve learned that I’m only a stranger until, suddenly, I’m not.
In this sense, dear freshmen (and anyone who was once a freshman, or will one day be a freshman), I relate to you. I also offer you the knowledge that people have gravity, a tendency to find their corresponding pieces in others. For me, and probably for a wide variety of social justice-types, the Little Blue House is an excellent place to start. I hope you’ll consider joining us tomorrow (and every Wednesday) at noon for free vegetarian lunch. Although sponsored by UCM, religion is not the focus of the lunches. They are a happy place, and all are welcome and invited.
This is it, senior year, and that’s odd, too. I can’t waffle about what I’m going to do next year anymore. I can leave myself several options, sure, but I need to have concrete plans and act on them. Getting used to that idea has taken time, but I’m finally really embracing it and getting excited about what comes next. Still, enjoy not needing to know while you can, because before you know it grad school (or the horrendous job market) will be staring you in the face.
If you’re the concert-going type, Big Gigantic is playing at Cain’s Ballroom on Thursday (the day after tomorrow). I may be willing to assist with transportation for the carless, but only if you tweet or DM me @ejcallen by Thursday afternoon.
Enjoy the rest of your first week of class! I hope your professors and classmates are as ridiculously awesome as mine! Speaking of awesome professors, I’m always happy to take questions about professors and courses via e-mail, facebook, or twitter, so please don’t hesitate to ask.