College, friendship, and an open-door policy

Originally appeared on

When I arrived at my freshman dormitory in college, all the confidence that I’d felt about living away from home drained away. Throughout my first semester, I felt like a fish out of water and didn’t feel as if I fitted in with all the other girls in my corridor on the third floor of Dorsey Hall.

I wasn’t in a sorority or a part of any other organization, as it seemed everyone else was. In addition to this, I didn’t drink or enjoy the midnight to three a.m. party scene as it seemed everyone else did. To be sure, there were really great girls on my floor who were kind to me and would have welcomed my friendship, but I was so caught up in how I didn’t fit in that I wasn’t able to see or grasp the hands they were extending out to me.

Each morning I set aside time to study that week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson. It was like a familiar friend or a parent that started off my day with love and kind words and lifted up my often lonely heart. However, since this was yet another way in which I was “different,” and I so wanted to fit in, I usually kept my door closed while I read and rarely shared ideas with others or mentioned my habit of daily Bible study. Looking back, I see how unfriendly this was. It was really symbolic of how I was closing my door to friendship, which involves listening to and caring for others as well as receiving that love and companionship in return.

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