Community at a higher education institution is important. Bright-eyed high school juniors and seniors make an effort to visit their potential college campuses not just to see the campus itself, but to gage the sense of community, to see how they might fit in there, and to imagine how life would look for two or four years. It’s an important factor, not just to potential undergraduates, but to graduate students and faculty as well.
I didn’t very much enjoy my undergraduate experience for various reasons, one being that I was working too much to even think about being involved with events. But I was walking around Virginia Tech’s campus just the other day thinking about how much more I’m enjoying my graduate school experience. Even though graduate school is stressful and difficult (as I think many students would agree), I know it’s exactly what I want to be doing right now. As I stated before, I am having a delightful experience, and I think that is largely due to the community that I have found within the English Department here and the community that Virginia Tech works very hard to foster on campus. I think this past weekend was a great example.
This past weekend at Virginia Tech was a commemoration of lives that were taken too soon exactly ten years ago. I wanted to write a blog that expressed how amazed I was at the sense of community that permeated Blacksburg Friday through Sunday. It isn’t just Virginia Tech. The community of Blacksburg showed its support for the institution in mighty ways by attending the events like the candle light vigil and the 3.2. for 32 memorial run. I was overwhelmed by the sense of solidarity that Virginia Tech and town of Blacksburg demonstrated this weekend, and this weekend is just one instance of how Virginia Tech seeks to unite its students.
I think that higher education institutions should do what they can to knit their communities together, to foster a connection and sense of home amongst their students. I also think that the institutions should be friendly and grateful to the towns in which they are located. Virginia Tech is a great example of an institution that does both of these things, and I’m proud to be a part of it.