Talk about a perspective change, ever since I’ve been here it’s like reliving freshman year. Walking around campus with a map, getting on the wrong bus, asking directions to people who look like they belong – plus the added bonus of asking students next to me what the professor meant by a word and having to ask people to repeat themselves more than once. I can’t say I despise all of that, but I don’t relish it either. It’s intimidating! I’ve never gone anywhere where I didn’t know one person.
Here, it’s like the beginning of a whole new book – not just a chapter.
People only know what’s true about me based on what I show them. It’s hard to think that way, because every choice I make is laminating their perception of me in their minds.This puts a good sort of pressure on for me though. It’s not simply about first impressions, but allowing people to see who I really am – and what I believe in.
The campus had a “Freshers Fair” for all the new students to check out organizations and societies they can join. I had to laugh at a few as I passed the tables, Quidditch Club, Lord of the Rings Trivia Club, Society Comedy Club…whatever is your fancy. I can only imagine my scared puppy eyes as I lingered through the entire student union with my bag of informational leaflets, quickly glancing at booths but trying not to make too much eye contact to make people think I was really interested in their organization. I walked through the first corridor only to have a loan agency and a local pizza place give me their information. I thought about turning around, until I saw something I recognized – a Bible. A Bible on a booth. Ahh, homey relief. I must have glanced for one second too long though because a friendly guy and girl approached me from across the hall asking if I was interested in this Christian Organization. I listened as they tried to explain this club that I was so accustomed to, but in a way that almost used code words. Community. Fellowship. Singing. Welcoming. Fun. Yes, I knew exactly what they were trying to get at, just as I had explained what “Cru” was to so many in Whitewater. This time I was on the other end of the invitation.
That wasn’t the only Christian organization around, there probably had to be 4 or 5. Some were handing leaflets out in the aisles and some were more reserved, waiting for students to approach them. I’ve prayed and had others pray for some Christian community for me in England, and I think an organization is just the way to find it. I can’t be the new kid forever, I need to branch out and meet more people.
And now, the hunt begins.