As the start of the new collegiate year begins, students nationwide are being introduced to a new group of friends, colleagues, and people in general. It is no doubt that this time of life is like nothing before, and for students who are just entering the college realm, there is a whole lot of novelty.
While the incoming college population will, of course, adhere to proper social distancing, personally the one aspect that I can acknowledge and appreciate the most from coming to college was the aspect of diversity. Coming into my freshman year of college, I showed up lacking a wide range of exposure to varying viewpoints and perspectives. But in retrospect, that became one of the things that I was most grateful for.
Leaving your comfort zone of ideals and beliefs and hearing out your peers from other backgrounds and lifestyles is one of the most important things that you can be exposed to. I genuinely believe that you will never understand another perspective until you take the time to listen and empathize with someone else. When it comes down to it, whether you are in a college environment or not, it reigns true that providing a listening ear to someone of another race, class, gender, sexuality, or religion will allow a path for growth and understanding. Providing a sentiment of openness and growth will transform not only your perspective, but those around you and assist in the development of transforming the world to a better place.