September 26, 2014 - cl3418a
An On Campus Experience
During Welcome Week, I had the opportunity to listen to a speaker, Danny Harris, the founder of the popular blog, People’s District. As a supplement to the Discover D.C. program, students were encouraged to attend one of several evening presentations. I blindly chose my destination that night, and I couldn’t have been happier with the outcome of the evening. Prior to the presentation about People’s District, I was experiencing feelings of anonymity and detachment due to the vastness of college and the surrounding city. I was a stranger, just another person on the Metro, just another freshman on the quad. I felt rather alone and wondered if I had made the right decision in coming to American University.
The message that Danny Harris delivered that night jerked me out of this hopelessness and truly resonated with me. He noted that Washington, D.C. is a city of strangers. It struck me that my feelings regarding loneliness were not unique, as many newcomers to the community had undergone similar phenomena. The speaker’s mission was to foster more human-to-human interaction in a sea of strangers. The second point the speaker made was that few people in the District identify Washington, D.C. as their true home. It tends to be seen as a temporary home, rather than an actual one. After asserting this, Danny Harris challenged each listener to create a home here. In order to do this, one must seize opportunities to connect with other people, as these connections have the ability to make a place a home.
Throughout the past month at AU, I have truly carried these messages with me. American University and Washington, D.C. have become home to me. Although I still have much to learn about each, I accumulate knowledge, friends, and experiences everyday that add meaning to these places. With this meaning, I have built a home here and will continue to do so for the next four years.