"On Campus Living Experiences"
Cast of Characters:
Relationships can be such a roller coaster. Remember a few columns back, I stated that getting involved with a person in my queer student group was a really bad idea. This month, I disregarded my own advise -- I tried dating a nice guy, Michael, from the group. At this point in time, it seems to have been a dismal failure. There is still hope -- but very little. Next month, I should have an update on how things actually turned out. I hope that Michael and I will still keep dating.
Currently, school is back in full swing here at Marshall University. It feels good to be back with my friends. Being back at work and school is also making my life stable once again. Good thing.
As I have started out this school year, I have begun to reflect on what impact I am hoping to make here at Marshall. I have come to the conclusion that the best thing that I can do for queer youth starting off at Marshall is to give them a helping hand at getting accustomed to the University and going to Lambda. Lambda has been my support system. I have made several rather close friendships within the group. This is important to a good college experience.
As you read this now, you might be a freshman just entering college. You also might be an upperclassman or a graduate student. If you are the former, please think about getting involved in your campus queer support group. It should be able to help you make the adjustment to college much more enjoyable. Usually, the group will be a huge help. The support system a new student needs to construct.
On the other hand, if you are an upperclassmen, keep in mind that there are others who are in need of guidance. My friend Jay was one of those people. I spent much time with him over his coming out process. I have seen him grow and become more secure. Jay, you make a "mother" proud!
My friend Michael, the one I mentioned I was dating for a short period, he is one kid who will be fabulous. I just give him a few years and he will make some nice man happy. I am just disappointed that I won't be around when he reaches that point. Pout.
Generally speaking, some of my strongest friendships have come from helping other people through their time of need. By helping someone, I build a bond which is stronger then your generic friendship. I can tell (even though sometimes he is still an ass) that Jay still appreciates the effort that I put forth in helping him out.
I guess that the crux of my message is that once you have come out and are comfortable with your sexuality, you should help others with the same process. At any university, there will be many gay people who are in need of friendship and support (especially if you are a resident student). Friendship and support are two items which can impact a young person's life exponentially. Keep in mind those who are in need and you might be able to help another person through some hard times in life but you might end up with a great friendship in the long run. All it takes is some time and an open ear.
Peace and Pride, Gunther Schryer, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.gschryer.com/