What’s so important about a community anyway?!
A community is a beautiful way to strengthen relationships with people around you to build a support system. This is such a special thing, especially when you’re new to campus! For each individual, it’s seen as something different. However, there is a common underlying connection. It’s the idea that a group of people can share experiences with one another. Whether that be about beliefs, values, passions, interests, hobbies, etc.!
As you begin your journey with SMU, you quickly start to realize that your Residential Commons can truly become your home. You’ll start to see familiar faces while walking through the building and notice that there are events almost every week for students to partake in. This residential experience is the best way to start engaging in your community. It’s a small step, but it can be invaluable to your SMU experience.
When I first arrived at SMU, I was nervous about meeting new people and finding a way to get involved around campus. However, within the first couple of weeks, I attended my Common’s (Crum) first event: CruMonday. Everyone had such warm, welcoming smiles, especially my faculty in residence (FiR)(shoutout to Dr. Geller)! We all got to grab some treats and mingle amongst new people, which gave me much ease in navigating around campus. No matter what time of day it was, I would run into my friends and get chatting with them about all sorts of things. These small interactions gave me much relief and comfort in realizing that there are such incredible people in the communities around me!
Don’t be afraid to meet new people!
The best way to start is by joining the Commons Council in your building. It is a small group of diverse individuals who join together to plan events and engage others to build community. Basically, a group of people who want to get involved just the way you might want to! By attending meetings, you will start to develop relationships with people, have limitless opportunities to volunteer, and have the ability to take on potential leadership roles. To join, you can slack your RCD or even talk to an RA who can advise you on what your council consists of.
Another way to build a community is by attending Commons events. There are a plethora of events that have different types of foods and activities which allow people to interact with one another. These events consist of those in your Commons and individuals from other Commons across campus. For instance, there’s the Commons Cup, an award every Commons competes for via a team. You can indulge in various activities such as basketball, football, volleyball, and more. My favorite part about these events is attending and cheering for my friends during the games! Through these events, you are not only able to win points for your Commons, but you also get to meet new people from other Commons. You will find comfort in these friendly faces when doing day-to-day activities such as walking to class or grabbing food from the same area.
Of course, the idea of a community looks different to everyone, but creating and building yours looks similar to many others. Joining organizations and getting involved with the people in your Commons is a fantastic way to take smaller steps to build a community that one day you can call home!