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Expanding Your Circle

Thomas Fitzpatrick, C'24

palm trees

As a commuter student in college, building a robust social circle can sometimes feel like navigating uncharted territory. While my peers in dorms or off-campus housing have built-in opportunities for socializing, I've had to be more intentional about expanding my friend circle. But through the hustle and bustle of gym sessions, classroom interactions, and intramural sports, I've discovered that forging meaningful connections is not only possible but incredibly rewarding.

Let's start with the gym – my sanctuary, my second home. Despite the early morning or late-night sessions squeezed between classes and work, the gym has become more than just a place to break a sweat. It's a hub of activity and camaraderie, where like-minded individuals come together to pursue their fitness goals. Whether it's spotting each other on the bench press or swapping workout tips between sets, the gym has provided countless opportunities for organic conversations and friendships to blossom.

Then there's the classroom – a melting pot of ideas and personalities. As a commuter, I've learned to make the most of every moment spent on campus, seizing every opportunity to engage with my peers and professors. Whether it's bonding over shared interests in a lecture or collaborating on group projects, the classroom has been a fertile ground for cultivating friendships that extend beyond the confines of academia.

And let's not forget about intramural sports – the ultimate arena for friendly competition and team spirit. As a commuter, joining intramural sports teams has not only provided an outlet for physical activity but also a sense of belonging and camaraderie. From pickup basketball games to flag football tournaments, intramural sports have allowed me to bond with fellow students in a fun and relaxed setting, forging connections that transcend the boundaries of the playing field.

Of course, expanding your friend circle as a commuter comes with its own set of challenges. It requires a proactive approach, a willingness to step out of your comfort zone, and a bit of creativity in finding opportunities for socializing. But the rewards far outweigh the effort – from the laughter shared during gym sessions to the camaraderie forged on the sports field, these connections have enriched my college experience in ways I never could have imagined.

So to my fellow commuters out there, I say this: don't underestimate the power of the gym, the classroom, and intramural sports in expanding your friend circle. Embrace every opportunity to connect with those around you, and you'll find that the bonds you form can be just as meaningful and enduring as those forged in more traditional living arrangements. After all, friendship knows no boundaries – not even the daily commute.

Thomas Fitzpatrick, C'24