Thank You, Dickinson

Shane Shuma ’22, Opinion Columnist

As a first-year student entering my first semester of college seemed a daunting task. I wondered if the work would be entirely different from high school, if friends would be harder to make, and if I would be able to become a part of the community. I am fortunate that Dickinson is a place built to handle all three of these concerns. I am glad I chose Dickinson over larger schools as I am unable to walk to a class or sit by the cushies without running into someone I know. The professors have been better than expected, and the first-year seminar program really helped me transition from high-school to college. For me, it’s been easy to get involved on campus. I have had the opportunity not just to join many clubs but become an active member within them. This is not a comprehensive thank you, but a general letter of thanks to the Dickinson community and those that comprise it. There is so much to do and so many to meet at this small college, and for that I am grateful.

I would first like to thank my professors for a great start to the semester. Not only are they fun and interesting, but their knowledge and unique assignments made sure I rarely said, “I know that” in class. From a policy paper that expanded my views on education, a documentary that taught me how to edit video and about a Native American issue, to projects in Excel that taught me spreadsheet literacy, to assignments that did not just include ones that made me practice my speaking and writing, but forced me to learn more about German culture. The resources that professors made me aware of and the opportunities they put me up for have not gone unnoticed, and for them, I am thankful. 

I would like to thank the people of Dickinson next. I have not met a single person at Dickinson that I dislike or have any animosity towards. Dickinsonians are very friendly, and while I may have had a few debates in the dining hall we always left on a handshake basis. Dickinsonians have made my days turn from bad to great just from a simple conversation, sometimes lasting for hours. Friends have also put me up for opportunities and my friends in clubs have served as mentors and have given great advice. For them, I am thankful.

I would also like to thank the many clubs and organizations on campus for all the work they do. From gaming club to chess club to political organizations to news organizations to business organizations and more, I have not only been exposed to great people but have also learned valuable and interesting things. I didn’t think I’d be writing SWOT analyses, getting beat up in Smash Bros., going to Washington D.C., writing food reviews, defending an animal trainer in a civil trial, to list a few, but because of the many organizations on campus I was able to. For the many organizations on campus and the people who make them up, I am thankful.

This thank you may seem premature as I am only in my first semester, but we only have eight semesters at Dickinson and so far, you are all helping make my first one count. 

I look forward to not only acting on my existing opportunities and enrich my connections with my current friends but make new friends and become even more immersed in the community. Every little thing you do as a Dickinsonian, no matter how small, matters, and makes Dickinson unique. Don’t be afraid to try that new activity or talk to that person sitting alone in the dining hall, you just might meet that new opportunity or person that changes your life for the better.