A Reflection On My First Year
Written by Emma McCormick
I came to Hillsdale only knowing one other student, and that student didn’t live on campus. I was really on my own. Except I wasn’t. Soon I had a friend in my roommate, then the girls in the rooms next to mine, then the girls on my hall, the people in my classes, my coworkers, the mock trial team, and the people I met by chance. People were easy to connect with, because we all came to Hillsdale for shared reasons—one of those being a liberal arts education rooted in the Christian values that support our Greco-Roman, Judeo-Christian heritage.
My time spent with the people who soon became some of my closest friends were the highlights of my semester. We did all sorts of things together, from studying in the library, playing volleyball on fall nights at Hayden Park, and laughing until our stomachs hurt at the improv shows, to growing in Christ by attending church and Equip, sleeping outside in hammocks, and spending late nights in the dorm playing games. We also struggled on our IM volleyball team together, cheered in the student section at home football games, survived mock trial road trips, and made homemade dinner for one another. When you live, eat, learn, and study together, you develop deep bonds quickly, and my friendships will continue to grow in the community of Hillsdale over the next seven semesters.
The consistent kindness and appreciation I experience still leave me feeling surprised, and what really impressed me this semester were the seniors who treated me as an equal, instead of as simply an underclassman. When I walk across campus, I am bound to see someone I know who will smile and say hi. And that friendliness is contagious. When someone greets me, I am more likely to do the same to the next person I see, and it starts a chain reaction that ends with the whole campus treating one another with respect.
I came to college to get an education, and the people in my classes helped make that extra enjoyable. I made some great friends because I sat next to them in class, and our shared desire to learn, rooted in a common worldview, brought us together. Discussions of what we began in class continued outside of class.
When I was home for break, I got used to giving a quick answer to the all-too-often-repeated question, “How’s college?” My answer revolved around the people I met and the community I joined. It just wouldn’t have been the same without the friends I made and the support I had.
Emma McCormick, ’19, is from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and plans on majoring in economics. She is a member of the mock trial team, the public relations officer of Praxis, and a part of Equip Ministry. When she isn’t studying or working at AJ’s, you might find her outside running.