End of week three at college update: I am so happy to report that I am not only making friends, but I'm making some of the best friends I've ever had. I had some really great friends in high school, some truly amazing friends. But I also knew some really terrible people, some people who didn't treat me right at all. I had friends that took advantage of me, gossiped and lied about me, and friends who were there for me one day and gone the next. By the end of my senior year I was so tired of the way I was treated by the negative friendships, that I even carelessly burned bridges, and I wasn't sad about it. I was so ready to get out of the same town with the same people and my same reputation and experience something new, and college was such a breath of fresh air.
To my new college friends: Thank you for coming at just the right time. Thank you for coming before I hit the breaking point. You guys accept me and all my baggage with unconditional love, understanding, and support. You don't have anything but nice things to say about me, and about each other. You're there to eat every meal with me and hear all my stories from back home. You embrace my obsessions and think my quirks are funny. You don't judge me if I want to sit this frat party out, or if I'm hitting the quan at Kappa Sigma. Thank you for being a part of this community I am wanting to create here at school.
You know you've found your community when you feel right at home doing anything and everything. When you know that someone always has your back, and will always run across campus when you send an "SOS" text. When you push each other to be better, try harder, and work more towards their goals, and are genuinely happy for each others fortunes and accomplishments.
It feels good to be wanted, to be known, and to be loved. It feels right to be in the midst of those who you love and those who love you because we were created for community. We were created to be one with each other, to live with each other, and to learn from each other. Some like to think of the community as the safety net under a tight rope, there to catch you when you fall, and to keep you confident in your efforts. I like to think of community as the tightrope itself, in that you can't learn the ropes and you can't move forward without it.
If you're immersing in a new community over the next few weeks, embrace that, be excited, and find the people out there for truly value you for who you are. Don't settle for anything less than the community you were created for, because the people who love you and treat you right are out there! Find your tribe and love them hard.