Campus Community

Schools, namely universities are a terrific way to build engagement in communities and meet new people. There is a rise in more schools recently offering online platforms for learning, but I think in general, many people, even young people still yearn for the “college experience.” This is a transition point in many people’s lives.

They essentially leave one or two communities (neighborhood / family and high school) and enter into another one. However, another interesting thing has been happening over time at many universities across the nation – diversity. I don’t just mean racially, but also age-wise, religion-wise, various vocations, lifestyles, perspectives, income levels, etc. People from all walks of life come to gather to the same area for the same purpose of gaining an education.

One of the unique things about having a college campus setting as a community is that like every society, they are made up of other sub-communities. It’s a great way of coming into contact with and meeting people who often end up becoming life-long friends; typically after bonding over a common interest. People also often meet others they maybe never would have expected, or maybe the would. For example, I met my husband through a friend of mine, whom I met while going to school. I think this may be a fairly common example, but it just goes to show the value of meeting people in a real-life setting. It’s also easier typically to get to know people this way rather than online. You feel and hope that you’re getting to know the real ‘them’. Online personas can be easily faked and/or manipulated so it can be tougher to decipher the real from the fake.


1 comment

  1. Rebecca Mary Esther Zimmerman

    Hi! I do agree college is a great way to meet and interact with people in a diverse setting. I mentioned in a previous discussion how I believe individuals come to college for a common goal, not just for education purposes but for many reasons. I know a few friends that chose colleges for sports and then a handful that chose for the location. When I graduated with my Associates at a community college close to my home town, I was looking at continuing my education based off degree requirements and then location. It is amazing how there are so many differences between universities. I had a hard time choosing where I wanted to go and actually took sometime off to work, save money, as well as pay off my car. I choose a university at age 23 and I unfortunately had a difficult time. I felt uncomfortable due to the fact most of the students were 19-20 and were more about socializing and drinking. I met a few people I was able to bond with, but I did not get a vary good experience. I joined PSU at 25 and took online and traditional classes. I decided to stick with online so I could focus of working and learning. Through PSU online community I have had some highs and lows. I enjoy discussions and blog posts and the interaction of reading others points of view. However, group projects are not very appealing through traditional classes or online. I absolutely agree that life has a way of bringing people or opportunities together in your life, like serendipity. I believe my many travels allowed for me to meet a diverse amount of individual I still keep in contact with through online or virtual means. As much as I dislike social media, at the same time if you filter the amount of people you follow it allows you to keep in contact and see the lives of others whom you can’t see on a regular basis. I enjoy seeing pictures and viewing posts of friends and family. I like facebook messenger. I have friends on the West coast (3 hour time difference ) I will wait to see if they have an active online status before messaging them! I believe online community is something that works with the changing of era. I remember in high school having to use a wall phone or having dial up internet, trying to use aol or myspace chat. Online communities have definitely grown into more than just a way to communicate. There are many different groups that people can get involved with. I used an online volunteer group I enjoyed. When I moved out West, I joined a mommy and me group and a church group. I was very active in both and the groups helped me feel welcome. Online communities help bring awareness and are great ways to support others. I am still very traditional when it comes to neighborhood communities and being a part of the town. However, spreading the word about upcoming events, a need for volunteers, communicating direction and the ability to reach a large group of people at once is very beneficial.

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