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A Personal Population Crisis

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Destinee Lopez — Reporter

More stories from Destinee Lopez

Photo by: Ram Reyes

Photo by: Ram Reyes

At the beginning of the school year, the campus was buzzing with returning and new students. Semester after semester, I plan out how early I have to arrive at school to find parking. This is the first semester parking was not as bad as the previous years. I am grateful to park on campus but now I have to arrive early to my classes just to get a good seat in an actual desk.

Almost a month into school and I am already secretly praying that students drop out of their classes.

Walking to class I have begun to play a game; which way to walk will have the least amount of people? The game results in taking the longest routes to my classes. Walking past the students, dodging them at all cost. I place my earphones on so I do not need to say, “excuse me, and sorry, I can I get through.” I walk quickly and with a frown on my face, because then I would not hear the words, “Hi, how are you today. I haven’t seen you in a long time. Hey.” Finally I get to where I need to be and I open that door to my class, my heart drops. Where do I sit?

I have to quickly choose where to sit, if there are seats. Do I want to sit in the seat without the desk and be forced to take notes on my lap? Should I sit in the seat in the handicap desk and feel guilty when someone needs it more than I do,  or do i sit in the far corner of the room and fall asleep because I am not active in the classroom discussions? All of those question, answers and possible scenarios run immediately through my mind.

Finding a desk is only half of the problem. I feel like I have to fight to be heard in classroom discussions; raising my hand up higher and jumping up and down in my seat just to be seen and heard. Now the question that I must ask myself is am I just being an antisocial person or is the campus overpopulated to the point I feel like my voice gets lost?

As a student, I have always heard community colleges are the best place to go if you want a connection to a professor and to be seen or heard with clarity; to feel like I am more than just a regular student. Then I ask myself, do I still feel like that, do my professors still treat me as if I am an actual person or just another name on a list?

Walking around campus, I have begun to notice something quite amazing. I am starting to enjoy an overpopulated campus.

I have met some awesome people by sitting a little too close for comfort. I do enjoy hearing people sing and listening to music around campus. I enjoy hearing different conversation and laughter and seeing people sit in the shaded areas and making new friends.

I love seeing the dance students practice on the grass outside of the bookstore. I love seeing art students draw the trees and buildings. I love seeing the photography students walk around taking pictures of seemingly nothing.

Only now, as the semester moves forward and I become more comfortable being around so many new people, do I realize that I am at a community college. I’m maybe just another name on a list in some of my classes and that is fine. I belong to a college where the student body is also part of my education. Where I am learning to love the simplest things, like walking around campus because it has a very beautiful and diverse population.

I always believed the less I socialized the better off I will be when it came to how well I did in life. There is less distractions, the more I am able to focus on what is important to me. Going to school on this campus forces me to be engaged with others. I am forced to talk to more people, to learn more about them. I am forced to see more, to see the differences and similarities between us. There was an awakening inside me, I started to see with an open mind. I no longer wanted to be just focused on myself, I want to learn and absorb the knowledge that those around me give without knowing they are giving me a the most precious gift of understanding.

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A Personal Population Crisis