By Seraphina Mallon-Breiman
As we’ve reached a new academic year here at GMC and I am personally entering my own Senior year, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the concept of community. There is a lot of ambiguity and mystery within the language surrounding the notion of community. I recently read something stating, “Firstly, it is important to acknowledge that the commonality implied by community does not have to imply cohesion and social support. Indeed, the utopian community has perhaps always been a symbolic and abstract representation of a much messier reality.” Community is a word that seems to function as a metaphor, overall holding positive effective potency within its use, whether or not it holds just one clear or definitive meaning. Whether community represents some sort of personal connection spiritually, religiously, or simply a means of exchanging desirable skill sets, there is usually a feeling of shared identity or solidarity when the term is put to use.
The notion of community is highly attractive, as is the potential for empowerment, capacity building, and cultural appropriateness that community often implies, but the word itself is attempting to give description to an almost unanswerable question. To uncover the meaning of the abstract concept of community, the timeless desire to belong to something and someone will take a lifetime. But to new freshmen, my advice is this: Jump into what’s around you and don’t think too much about which people seem to know what they’re doing and which don’t! Find your own passions and actively engage in what you’re interested in and your community will surround you here naturally. I know it can be scary but this green place has so many beautiful people and places to offer!