I’ve never felt the need to fit in. From the get-go, I had wacky parents who brought me up unconventionally. When I was young my family moved from the United States to Taiwan, and then to Colombia, and finally to Albania. By the time I came to RIT, I was used to being the outsider. In fact, I embraced it as my identity.
Yet I was determined to make RIT my home, and to me that meant doing everything I could to fit in. When I got here I was excited and I had a fantastic first few weeks. I felt like everyone knew my name and my opportunities were limitless. But as time went on people started settling into groups, while I did not. I tried joining different campus clubs and always met individuals I liked spending time with, but I never really identified with the group itself. I spent an embarrassing amount of time worrying about fitting in.
I talked about the pressure I was feeling with my family and they helped me see that maybe I was trying to be someone I’m not. Did I really need to be part of a particular group to be happy? I had never needed to fit in before, so why now?
I decided to stop trying to fit in and as soon as I did, I came to realize just how many friends I had actually made. I’ve met so many interesting people I like spending time with one-on-one. I may not be good at assimilating with groups, but I’m fantastic at finding people to share life with.
Now that I don’t bother trying to fit in, I feel very much a part of RIT. I’ve carved my own niche and that’s just how I like it.