Saturday, March 10, 2012

Finding Friendship at Mac

      As the summer drew to a close, I started to get antsier about starting college and moving out of home. The last two weeks of August I was in denial that college life would start soon; I was so stressed about the fact that, starting in September, I would have no friends in a two thousand mile radius that I couldn’t think more than a day ahead. My friends and family tried to reassure me that no matter where I went to study or what I did I was going to make friends and have fun.
      Once I managed to get all my suitcases up to my room, unpack, and get my ID picture taken, this proved to be true. Naturally, I got accustomed to living alone and being independent, of course I made friends and some of these friendships I can already tell will last for a very very long time, and of course my classes are going just fine and I’m having a grand time in college. The probability that this will happen to you too is high, so not to worry. What’s funny is how well it works out. You know when you are hungry and in the mood for something, but you don’t know what it is? So you go to the kitchen and open the fridge to see what’s in there. Ice cream? No. PBJ? No. What about Fruit? Or chips or candy? And then you find something sitting right in the middle of the fridge shelf, and because you don’t know what you are searching for, you pick it up and you take a couple of bites. As you savor whatever it is in your mouth you quickly realize that that was what you’ve been craving all afternoon! It’s just perfect, fresh or savory enough, not too salty or spicy, sweet enough. And look! There is a tray full of it.
      This whole story is the perfect analogy to my Macalester experience and the friendships I’ve made here so far. I didn’t realize until I got here that Mac was exactly what I wanted and had been looking for all along. It is the most perfect match. Truth be told, my friends are the main reason why I say this (and, just want to clarify, the academics, extracurricular activities and all that jazz are absolutely magnificent too). I’ve always wanted to meet people that had different experiences from me and came from different places; I was that one kid that always pestered the poor exchange students that visited my high school, and the girl that would chat with strangers at the mall and ask “Excuse me ma’am, but what language is that you are speaking?” My friends are from everywhere, the most random places, the most unheard of, the most beautiful, and the ones I hope one day to visit. For years now I've been yearning to learn about "those people over there" as my I.S. professor puts it, and that's exactly what I've been doing here from day one. Morocco, Albania, Japan, Spain the list could just go on and on.
      From the new friends I've made I've learned so many new things about everything and anything, including what I'm made of and who I am. I'm learning Albanian, what young people do in Italy during the afternoons, who to write my name in Arabic. If you want a little spice in your friendships, Macalester is the prefect place for you.

- Gabriela Landeros ‘15