This weekend has been quite an eventful one. I just got back from the Windy City, about 4 hours northwest of my current blogging location!
The trip was put on by the Global Village, the dorm I live in here at IU. It is one of the many living learning communities that IU offers to students with similar interests. In the Global Village, or the GV, as we call it, life is all about thinking global and being a global citizen. In fact, the introductory course, Q199, focuses on just that.
There are 170ish of us who live on the 3.5 floors of Foster Martin, conveniently located 100 or so quick steps from Greshman dining hall and <5 minutes from Kelley and SPEA. At the GV we are tied together by global backgrounds, languages, majors, career plans, hobbies, and other special causes. Not everyone in the GV studies a language or is majoring in something global-y, but rather we all enjoy learning about new places, cultures, and global topics in general, as well as meeting and living with a wide variety of people.
One of the coolest facets about the GV is the fact that we have lots of what we call programming. Programmng happens in the form of events, field trips, clubs, and lots of free food. Students run their own GV government, help pick out and put on programs, and can even propose programs of their own, which, if approved, are funded by the GV budget. It's a hands-on environment with pletny of resources and guidance from the GV team available.
So, this brings me back to Chicago. While staying in the city, we visited a plethora of ethnic neighborhoods, including Vietnamese, Pakistani, Jewish, Swedish, Mexican, Chinese, and more! We sampled foods, took tours, shopped for knick-knacks and dusty books, interacted with some in-the-know folks around town, and even had free time to explore downtown. Did I mention that we had a salsa dance lesson? And a fiilm screening? Oh, and that we went to Second City for a comedy show on Saturday night? Yep. That happened. We also chilled with the dinos at the Field Museum and chatted about the LGBT community with a state rep. And all of this and more was packed into 2.5 days flat. Solid.
In Chicago, I was fortunate enough to interact with plenty of GVers that I'd never really gotten a chance to hang out with before, further broadening the scope of our wonderful, international family. I also tried deep dish pizza for the first time ever, and believe it or not, I began to conquer my 19 year's worth of being scared of heights by taking to the Navy Pier's iconic ferris wheel.
Now that was a weekend.
My advice is this-
If you want a tight-knit community, invest your time in an LLC. And don't just live there.
Be a part of the happenings.
For me, and undoubtedly for some of you as well, making friends during the first weeks of college is a concept that churns stomachs. But when you enter into a community where you know you've got common threads, well then, you're already part of the patchwork.
Chao for now,