In a quest to familiarize our readership with the editorial staff, each editor reflected on their individual experience at the University of Redlands and how it has defined them.
Among withstanding 100-degree weather, developing a keen sense for which microwaveable meals will taste the best and realizing a college 8 a.m. and a high school 8 a.m. feel extremely different, there are certain things I picked up at the U of R that no amount of SAT prep could have prepared me for.
For one thing, I found myself, coming from a California-only bubble of friends and family, caught off guard by the array of locations students were coming from and ones they had traveled to. (Hearing someone call a water fountain a “bubbler” was a particularly jarring experience). I also found myself being constantly inspired by listening to students’ recounts of travels abroad, whether studying or simply with friends. It’s definitely encouraged me to branch outside of my comfort zone and see how travel shouldn’t be something I view as so daunting or inaccessible. When I finally was able to organize a trip out of the country for myself this past summer, the excitement, support and encouragement I received, even from acquaintances and classmates was nothing short of amazing. The culture of travel cultivated at Redlands is definitely one of its most unique and spectacular features.
My favorite thing that I learned here, though, was how to find genuine excitement and enjoyment out of the simplest of things. I’ve never been so ecstatic to see someone with a rice cooker than I have at college. I think after I nearly cried out tears of joy, I tweeted about it. One of my all-time favorite activities to do with friends now is to just go grocery shopping. Seeing my step count on my phone after walking from Hall of Letters to literally anywhere else on campus? Cathartic.
In all seriousness, experiencing the awkward limbo of straddling between the world of adulthood and teenager has forced out a humility in me–and I’m certain in many other students–due to the all too present awareness that we’re not too sure what we’re doing. In the process of just feeling like a baby who pays taxes, I’ve become comfortable with not taking myself too seriously and finding something fun about every (potentially dull) piece of college life.
Redlands has helped me discover an ease within myself and a newfound ability to truly remain present, as well as understand that not every piece of college life is meant to be glamorous. I’ve grown to adore the little victories, big screw-ups and everything in between. As I continue my next few years here, I thoroughly expect to feel unprepared for new curveballs being thrown my way, but I also expect to come out of them feeling more confident and capable in my abilities to handle them with a smile.
Photo contributed by Redlands Bulldog photographer Kevin Reyes