I may have mentioned this before, but at the risk of repeating myself, I’ve just got to say that of all the things I’ve loved about being at Erskine, the community has been one of the most wonderful. Certainly, anywhere you go, it takes time and intentionality to form meaningful, deep, mutually-reciprocal relationships. (I had to remind myself of this during first-semester freshman year when, despite the great people around me, I worried that I wouldn’t ever have close friends in college.)
That being said, the great thing about college—especially about a school the size of Erskine—is that you very quickly form close bonds with fellow students as you live, eat, and study together on a daily basis. Now, by junior year, it’s impossible for me to count the number of times I’ve just chuckled to myself and thought, wow, this is fun. Studying diligently and growing intellectually are a huge part of college life. But in those moments between hours of studying, conversations begin that are fun and reinvigorating. In a landscape of challenging and often exhausting academic efforts, such exchanges are gems sparkling along the path of daily diligence. Maybe a friendly debate begins at lunch on a topic everyone feels strongly about but on which there are a variety of positions. The wonderful thing about being at a school Erskine’s size is that, almost anywhere you go, you’ll know people and have something to talk about.
You might come across friends studying and ask a question about the book you’re reading, engendering animated an animated discussion of everything from politics to religion—topics you’re not supposed to mention at the dinner table, remember?—that lasts almost two hours until you look at your watch and discover it’s almost 2 a.m. The heart-to-heart conversations with girlfriends late at night in the dorm (I’m afraid I can’t speak for the guys, but I’m sure they have similar exchanges) are always fun as well. Wherever and whenever they take place, whether deep and serious or joking banter punctuated by laughter, conversations with friends are always refreshing or invigorating in some way. Indeed, such exchanges often galvanize me to think and study more deeply out of a desire to better learn why I have an opinion or hold a particular conviction with which a friend disagrees. Then there are just those times when my sides ache from laughing and I discover that, interestingly enough, sleep deprivation can act as an extremely effective substitute for laughing gas. Oh, laughter is good for the heart…as is meaningful conversation for the mind and soul.