Column: Communities can be found post-graduation
Published: Friday, September 13, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 13, 2013 18:09
Just last weekend, I was sitting around with my roommates, and as a spur-of-the-moment decision, we decided to make churros. While the finished product was delicious, the time we spent baking, taking photos of ourselves in ridiculous aprons and the laughs we shared will probably be the parts that I remember most from this experience. While this sounds like the sort of experience the any college student can have, the funny thing is, this was an experience that I had outside of college while living the post-graduate life as a Jesuit Corp volunteer.
I clearly remember that when I was leaving Loyola, one of my biggest concerns was where I would find friends and a community like the one I had at Loyola, and I know that many of my friends expressed the same concern. After four years of awesome roommates, amazing retreats and nonstop student organizations, it was hard to think that I would find such a community ever again.
But I am happy to say that after only a few months living the post-graduate life, I have found such a community. I will not say my new communities and my new friends are exactly the same, but they have been surprisingly close to what I was used to. Living in an intentional community as a Jesuit Volunteer has been a lot like the living in a residential hall, just smaller — and co-ed.
My roommates come from all walks of life and very different backgrounds, but we get along surprisingly well and share a lot of the same overall values. My co-workers are a lot like the campus community at Loyola. I have supervisors who are always looking out for me, like the staff; bosses who are kind but always pushing me to work hard, like professors; and co-workers, who like other students, sometimes help me to get work done and sometimes help me to slack off.
The city of Houston itself is filled with tons of organizations and activities, of which I have barely scratched the surface. But much like the student organizations on campus, there is a wide variety to suit every interest and schedule. Although being involved in them is admittedly a bit harder when you are relying on public transportation to get everywhere.
All in all, I’d have to say that finding new communities is not as hard as I thought it would be and, in many respects, it is very similar to the life I knew back at Loyola. While I’m sure other alumni might have different experiences, my own has been quite positive. In my opinion, if community it something you value and invest in, you will find it. In fact, that is part of the reason I chose to be a Jesuit Volunteer. So, if you are stuck figuring out what you want to do after you graduate, try considering what you value and look for organizations or opportunities that match those values.
Just because you have left the Loyola community that does not mean Loyola community has left you.
Chad Landrum, A’13, can be reached at email@example.com
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