Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Who is really sitting next to you and what is their problem?

Sometimes we don’t realize that the student or person sitting next to us may be struggling with family or relationship problems. They could be struggling to pay their tuition, balance school with work, family, friendships, a relationship or all of the above. So often people, myself included, are quick to judge and assume that the person who was rude or comes across as a jerk has a chip on their shoulder. Often not realizing that there could be something more going on in their life than what is seen when interacting with them.

I see this a lot as the Associated Students CareBank coordinator; which is a service that provides needy students at Fullerton College emergency assistance with transportation and food assistance. When I sit and talk with students on a one-on-one basis the real struggles they are facing are revealed. Many students who are struggling are those you least expect. They are the ones sitting in the front row or chatting with you before or after class, yet it is never known that they may not have had anything to eat all day or longer. That they have no idea if they will be able to afford a bus pass or fuel in their car to get to and from campus for the next class. Having been the A.S. CareBank coordinator for over a year now, I am amazed at the perseverance of so many of the students who attend Fullerton College. They inspire me and allow me to put my problems into perspective and think, maybe things are not as bad as I make them seem.

I would encourage everyone to reach out to that person who may be having a bad day with a simple smile or kind word. I know for me on a bad day hearing a kind word from a friend or even a stranger can make a big difference. It’s the small things we can all do to help make FC, and life in general, a better place. Get to know each other, even a professor you may have that is not the most pleasant. Spending a few extra minutes before or after class getting to know and talking with them can allow you to see things from their perspective. There is always a reason and cause for why people behave the way they do, although it may never be revealed, at least an attempt was made to try and understand it before just assuming they are jerks. I encourage all of us to get to know one another, at the very least those we interact with and see on a regular basis. Give it a try…what can it hurt?

Until next time!

Joey McIntosh

"The will to persevere is often the difference between failure and success" - David Sarnoff

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