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.