“I felt like I belonged here more when I was three than now when I’m 21.”
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Transcript for Fall Through The Cracks
I realized that, you know, I could apply to Valpo because I’d been familiar with it. My aunt went here when I was a kid. I feel like I belonged here more when I was three than I do now that I’m, you know, twenty-one. I don’t really feel that same sense of, like, belonging, I guess here. It’s just—it’s almost as if there’s lots of groups on campus, but when you don’t belong to any certain one, you just kind of like, fall in the cracks, and you kind of have to find ways to make yourself feel like you belong, but there’s just nothing you can really do.
One instance where I felt like I didn’t belong here at all—I’m in the honors college, Christ College, and I remember my freshman year, we were discussing the Bible, and having not been raised, you know, in a religious house, or not having much experience with it, I remember, you know, asking my professor a lot of questions during class. You know, ‘Oh, well, why is it this way?’ You know, ‘Where did Cain and Abel’s wives come from?’ Just things that I really had no idea. And at one point, my teacher, you know, had said to me, ‘If you don’t know the Bible, you really don’t belong here.’ And so, I remember, you know, just being in shock, because, you know, Valpo touts diversity and talks about how they accept everyone, but my teacher told me to my face that if I didn’t know the basic teachings of the Bible, what was I even doing in this college? Especially the honors college. And I just remember just being angry from that point on, and then just never really associating myself with that college at all.
I don’t really believe in a God, or that there is a God, but at the same time, I see so many people that do, and you know, go to church and have these great communities, and pray, and worship, and I’m almost envious, like, I’m almost wishing that I had that within me—to have that sort of faith in something else—but I don’t, and I just really don’t think that it’s there. And so, it’s difficult for me, you know, to get involved with a lot of things on campus, because as someone who doesn’t believe that there is a God—a lot of the, you know, university organizations are religiously oriented. And I don’t want to offend anyone by, you know, participating, but I mean, if SALT [Social Action Leadership Team], you know, has an event, you know, trying to help people with, you know, raising money to get water, and I want to help, how do I approach that situation when they all know this about me because of Christ College? How do I—there’s no way I can really reconcile it because they already know I’m an outsider, even if I just want to help.
It’s pretty difficult. I mean, I’ve been here now—this is my fourth year, and I still, I mean, people say that, ‘Oh, it’s my senior year, I’m looking on this fondness.’ And I mean, I can look back on my classes, and look back at the things that I’ve taken here and smile, but I can’t really look back at, you know, socializing with people and thinking that, ‘Oh, I’m going to really miss that,’ because for the most part, I mean, I wasn’t really liked because I was different. And it’s not something you can see, it’s not like, a visible difference, it’s just—it’s just hard to feel like you actually deserve to have your education here, or that you really should be in this class. It just seems to be this bubble, and I just—in this bubble, I seem not to fit.