Recently, I was sitting in BFCAT with City House student Luke Thompson, as he shared how his time in City House, particularly the practice of walking to and from campus, is challenging him to be more outwardly focused. I knew just what he meant.
As college students, everything we could possibly need is provided on one plot of land, or else is down the road at Walmart. We are encouraged to spend those four years focusing on ourselves: our academics, our extracurriculars, our friends, our resume-building experiences. We live in a community of other people also focused on their own stuff, and so we find ourselves caught in a homogenous, self-focused community, where the majority of us are white and middle class and in our late teens/early twenties. At Geneva, this is referred to as the “Geneva Bubble.” Over time, we begin to lose our ability to see and imagine the world beyond our bubble.
I lived my first two years of college caught in this mindset, though it wasn’t until I moved off campus, into the City House, that I realized it. Slowly, as I participated in the daily rhythms of a community that included people of various ages, personalities, races, socioeconomic backgrounds, and life experiences I began to be more aware of stories other than my own. My perspective has shifted…broadened. A new level of awareness of, and compassion towards those around me was awakened in me. The world, now, seems much bigger and more beautiful than before, and there is a comfort in the realization that its not all about me. There is so much more to discover and delight in, if we just take the chance to go beyond the bubble.
-Janelle (Resident Director)