Living in a Community

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Women Living Well - 2004

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Living in a Community

Natalie Inozil

Natalie Inozil 4/29/2004
Women Living Well
Professor Amy Campbell

Living in a Community

In an effort to accomplishing the many goals of Bryn Mawr College tension arises in the community. Though there are many benefits to having a varied student body, it comes at a high cost. Tension arises because what is different is usually beyond you intellectual grasp. But when an effort is made to comprehend members of you community and make each others feel comfortable the tension that arrives from diversity is intellectually beneficial to the community.

Diversity of perspectives challenge students own views, which leads them to question what they have learned thus far. This can force them to grow, encompassing the newly learned perspectives or it can stunt their growth by putting them on defense, which creates a tension in the community. This is internalized and acted upon, which may cause others to be offended. The perceived offense leads people to stay within their comfort zones stunting their growth and the rest of the community.

Staying in your comfort zone or group of friends causes tension on campus at times. Students usually are friends with other students whom they can relax with comfortably with little to no tensions arising. This creates what some name as cliques, a narrow exclusive group of people, often held together by common interests, views, or purposes. This makes some students feel uncomfortable. Some feel like outsiders others feel like insiders. Some feel lost and alone other are found in enclaves with friends that makes the school more homely. Upon entering the dinning hall you will see the team members and cultural groups sit together. This might be seen as negative, but people hang out with people that they have something in common with. This is useful because it gives students an opportunity to be at ease while still adding to the diversity of perspectives in the classroom .This by no means suggests cliques are exclusive. The nonexclusive and friendly characteristics of the women on campus are visible when you allow yourself to open up to the 'cliques'. The perceived difference keeps people away and robs them of the opportunity to have a fruitful conversation and possibly make a friend.

Everyone must help ease the tension diversity created in the community. Each member of the community has a role to show the same respect to others that they themselves want in return. This will help the institution become a safe place for people to step out of their comfort zones and gain insight through new perspectives and friendships.

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