We’re All In This Together
By Chris Pudenz
My freshman year, Associate Dean of Men Jeff “Chief” Rogers regularly led cadence runs around campus before classes. Having been encouraged by one of my RA’s to participate, I nervously showed up at the steps of Central Hall at 6:45am on a Tuesday morning. A decently-sized crowd of sleepy students had already gathered, and Chief quickly arranged us into lines. Chief called out cadences in his unmistakable deep voice as we began to follow him around campus at a moderate pace. We eventually made it to Hayden Park, where we did fifteen minutes of pushups, sit-ups, and other bodywork exercises before reforming lines and running back to campus.
The combination of crisp air and a high pollen count made it difficult for me to breathe that morning, and I found myself at the back of the pack as we approached campus. Running past Olds, I began coughing so hard I nearly passed out. Doubled over and staring at the ground, I suddenly felt a hand on my shoulder: it was Oliver, a friend from my dorm, and even though we’d only known each other for a few days, he kindly helped me back to my room. I never again went on one of Chief’s morning cadence runs, but I learned something important that morning: we’re all in this together.
College can be difficult. Let me rephrase that: college will be difficult. At some point you will have too much homework to finish. You will get a “C” on a paper. You will want to shun your responsibilities and spend the entire night eating junk food and watching Netflix. But you’re not alone. Living in a dorm, you are surrounded by dozens of other students who are in the same situation you are. Even better, you are surrounded by older students who have all been through it before—and they want to help you.
So what can you do? Participate in dorm activities; get involved in dorm Bible studies; go to the Palace Cafe at 11:30pm on a Saturday night with those guys from the other end of the hall. Dorm culture at Hillsdale College is perfect for fostering friendships that last a lifetime, and you should take full advantage of it. Why? Because these people will be with you through good times and bad. And trust me, there are plenty of good times. Hillsdale will more than exceed your expectations, and you will learn a lot about yourself and others along the way.
Originally from Carroll, Iowa, Chris Pudenz ’17 is a senior studying Economics. He currently serves as the Head RA of Galloway Residence.