This last summer was one full of unique and amazing experiences for me. After mistakenly accepting a summer camp counselor position in Ohio that I thought was in Indiana, I followed through and spent my summer working with 29 others at the YMCA Camp Tippecanoe.
Staff training was two weeks of counselor training and staff community building. Looking back, I can see a trend that, had I recognized it, would have caused the summer to be much different, allowing me to leave camp with better connections.
While the other staff members worked on community, I made only one close friend, and we ended up pushing others away from us in the process. Out of everyone that I worked with, I feel that there were only a few people that I could call friends, while I completely neglected the other members on staff.
I know that others were worthy of my attention and care, but I got so wrapped up in that single newfound friendship that no effort was put into bonding with the others, which is vital to the camp atmosphere. During the summer, I told myself that I would rather make one good friend than leave with many shallow acquaintances, and this is true to some extent, but I am now left wondering if those other 23 would have been more than acquaintances if I had made the effort. I won’t ever know because I closed myself off and didn’t give them a chance.
So, whether you’re an incoming freshman, an upperclassmen or even a faculty member, everywhere you turn there are relationships to be built. Don’t close yourself off to these because you think you have built all the bonds you need – you’ll never know what you may miss if you do.
Jean Donaldson is a sophomore biology major. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This column reflects the views of the writer only.