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The case for finding solidarity in the fall

The case for finding solidarity in the fall

The case for finding solidarity in the fall
August 07
14:00 2020

UNT has “over 450 student organizations.” With this many options and the lack of human contact we will experience during the fall, you might feel like you don’t have the time nor the opportunity to find your solidarity or the space to make you feel like you’re having a productive experience.  

Beginning a new chapter in your life is difficult. When it comes to starting college or continuing it, the thing that I found to be the most difficult as a transfer student was finding my own space. Finding spaces that make you feel welcome is complicated and difficult, especially when you have so many options on campus. It’s easy to assume that you have to leap to the first organization and constantly be surrounded by a lot of people to feel like you belong. This is not true. 

Although this might be the case for some, it’s important to realize that finding your crowd is deeper than just being a part of a group or organization, they have to match your values. When looking for an organization, one of the most important things is to not only look into their values but pay close attention to their actions behind what they say they are working towards. 

A lesson I learned early on in college and guided my decisions about whether my membership was worthwhile was constantly evaluating how that organization applies its values. When I joined a student organization in my first year as a transfer student at UNT, the thing I found the most disheartening was how excluded I felt. We were working as a team, but it seemed like most members already had an in with the social circle of its highest members. I was a part of the team but the clique culture that was already present overtook any opportunity for me to feel comfortable and ultimately drove me away from the one organization that had the potential to help my progress. 

With all of the talk about student organizations during the article, you might feel obligated to join, but you are not. Solidarity can come from the people you meet and the friends you make. When it comes to this, it’s important to note that a lot of friends that you make might appear to be temporary but these friendships can be long-term. Some of the closest people that made me feel validated in school, I have met in a class setting. It’s easy to assume that you will most likely have a class with someone and never see them again. Yes, this will most likely happen but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth reaching out to them during the semester.

With classes being delivered online, via Zoom or minorly on campus, this will be difficult, but this will allow a little more room for feedback to be more visible. A lot of work being done will allow others to see what other classmates think and give you more of an opportunity to express gratitude about the work they are sharing. 

While pursuing my Associate’s Degree, I took advantage of the groups that my professors formed or the groups that unknowingly were formed on the first day of class. Since I was working closely together with the same team members, I found that it was easier to navigate through the course because expressing the difficulties I had wasn’t a hassle and I found the help I needed in them.  Another version of this would be starting a group chat and joining one. It may be cliche, but it could go a long way. You can feel included by not only being a part of it, but you would find that a lot of frustrations will be expressed. 

There is no doubt that this fall will be difficult, but reaching out and looking into the resources at your fingertips will allow you to find the solidarity within yourself. The years you spend in college will ultimately shape who you are. Never forget that despite the troubles you might have when it comes to finding what’s best for you, the person who will make it to the other side is always in the making. 

Featured illustration by Austin Banzon

About Author

Jasmine Hicks

Jasmine Hicks

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