By Logan Grasso
Is the sharp thrumming of your heartbeat due to a lack of oxygen flow as you hold your breath, or are you terrified that you’ll meet the gaze of who’s occupying the same space you’re in? Whether you’re hiding from a familiar face in the frozen foods aisle of a grocery store, a chill prickling the hairs on the nape of your neck. Or you feel the tension in your legs as you crouch to duck down behind your office desk, wishing to flee the scene. We’ve all been there before. You spot someone you know in public before they’ve noticed you, and now you have to hope that they don’t make that same connection.
Oddly enough, I’ve never felt that disconsolate dread during my time at Hofstra. Any time I cross paths with one of my former classmates, there’s a mutual excitement that comes with that recognition. Even when I happen to see a professor! Instead of rolling my eyes, they light up a bit. I occasionally find myself wishing to happen upon them some days, when the sun needs just a little more brightening. It’s amusing when put this way, but I feel like I’m searching sometimes, my eyes scanning the crowds like I’m going to finally find Waldo.
It may be a bit of an exaggeration to call this change in attitude a phenomenon, but one can’t help but wonder why there’s such a dramatic shift simply by circumstance. It’s kinda obvious. I didn’t have to ponder in rumination for too long. Though it still surprised me. Even for an introvert such as myself, I don’t mind the company of the people on campus. Because they enjoy my company as well. There’s a sincerity that isn’t just surface level.
Speaking with someone is overcomplicated. Even arranging the conversation is difficult. Sometimes, it doesn't seem worth the trouble. That is, until we actually do it. When you think about going to an amusement park, you think about the rides and how fun it'll be. Not the crowded competition of finding a parking spot so you can get your turn on the rides. Not the online ordering process worse than having to create a new password just to get some tickets. Not even the lines you'll have to wait on. Maybe, the pricing, I'll let that one slide. But you get the idea. We tend to concern ourselves with the level of difficulty when it's not tough to do at all. As a matter of fact, like all those issues with arranging a park vacation, you can just call them up to walk you through the process. That's what my advisor did for me. I hadn't thought to set up a meeting to figure out my class schedule. Figuring out a website to create an appointment seemed too complicated. But if you can find your advisor's office, or get as lucky as I did to have them as your professor, you can essentially do a walk-in. Anyone and everyone on campus is willing to help, all you have to do is find them. They may not be able to come to you but it's worth the trouble to go to them.
Our professors don’t just ask us how we’re doing to be polite. They genuinely care to know. Our peers aren’t just waving as we pass by; fellow students actually stop to talk. It’s a distinct contrast from what most of us are familiar with. Making time for others even when we’re in a rush doesn’t cross our minds during the New York hustle, but time stops for everyone here because right now is OUR time.
It’s our optimal time to grow. To connect. To become who we’re going to be for the rest of our lives. It’s time for class. It’s time for Common Hour. It’s OUR time.