Hey everyone it’s Sebastian! :)
UConn promotes Learning Communities as first year housing. LC’s split into two categories: major based and interest based. Regardless of which category, they both require students to live with one another in the same building and floor/s. There are various different learning communities to choose from like Eco-House which houses students who are passionate about the environment, WIMSE which houses women who are interested in Math, Science, and Engineering and there is even a learning community for our honors students.
About 40% of Freshmen decide to take part in this housing option. I have never felt more welcome, more part of a group in my life than when I moved into my LC freshman year. I joined Global House which is a learning community that emphasizes global citizenship, diversity, multiculturalism, and studying abroad. Another perk is that many of our international students also live with us. I didn’t know what to expect when I applied to Global House, it was an impulsive move on my behalf, but fortunately I stuck with my decision.
Global House is the reason why I am so involved at UConn. It really helped me break out of my “shyness shell”, immediately we got involved with the LipSync competition, which is the epic dance off watched by thousands of people during our Homecoming celebration. We won second place in LipSync but we won first place overall in our division for all of homecoming. It was a blast and definitely a triumphant moment.
That was the theme for the year, triumph, or as we liked to call it “Global Domination”, we won first place in the annual Learning Communities Field Day and we made a big presence in the Second Annual Learning Communities Talent Show.
However I didn’t stay in Global House because we won everything (we have a huge collections of trophies and medals in our learning community lounge) I stayed because all the people in Global House, in time, became my family.
I was very scared my first day of freshmen year and I thought I was not going to make any friends because I’m shy. That is not a problem in a learning community. The first day of moving in you participate in various team building activities and socials in the lounges. I also “knew” many people before physically moving to UConn since Global House has a Facebook page where students can connect prior to arriving.
Immediately I met many wonderful people that eventually became my best friends. I met many international students such as Charles from France, Mehul from Taiwan, Bjorn from Sweden, and Richardus from the Netherlands. It was sad having them leave since most of them either stayed for one or two semesters. I did get to learn about different cultures and I had many wonderful experiences with students from different parts of the world. Global House every so often has Cultural Nights where a region of the world or certain country “hosts” a cultural night, you get to taste wonderful food and learn about the culture. Global House had countless activities that are too numerous to list without sounding like I am bragging but another highlight was we had a Faculty Colloquium Series where UConn faculty members would have a discussion with members of Global House.
I also became good friends with domestic students as well such as Adam, Colin, and Giovanna who calls me her brother and who my mom adores. I’m glad that I made many domestic friends since I won’t have to say goodbye to any of them anytime soon. Goodbyes are not my thing and the hardest goodbye was with my dear friend Igor.
Igor is from Australia and he came to UConn for the whole year. We became very close and did many activities together. Igor, Colin, and I were always together and would socialize/study together in our lounge until six in the morning. During Christmas break Igor invited many of us to his New York apartment that he rented for the winter intersession. Countless memories later, full of laughter, intelligent discussions and sometimes debates, it was finally time to say goodbye to Igor.
The last week of my freshmen year I spent in denial, I did not want to realize that I would be saying goodbye to a dear friend and possibly not seeing him for years. I spent the week keeping myself busy and acting like nothing was to come. The day I said goodbye to Igor, I helped him back his luggage and he left to catch a bus to leave UConn. For some strange reason, despite the fact that I was very sad, I felt like I was going to see him again.
Global House was a great way for me to make friends, to make global connections that will extend into my life after I graduate. I am so happy that I chose to live in Global House, I am so privileged to have made so many friends in such a welcoming environment. I do have much to look forward to with Global House. This year I will serve as a Learning Community Leader and I will have an international student as a roommate ,but I will never forget my first year with Global House, an experience that changed my life.