Calvin Yang

I thought I was never going to be happy here.
Calvin Yang headshot

I was incredibly nervous about coming to RIT because it was so far from home and I knew absolutely no one.  My first few weeks here were awful and I was in a constant state of despair because I didn’t feel at home. Alone in my room my unhappiness grew and I started making plans to transfer.

The only people I confided in were my sisters. After I told them how I was feeling they convinced me to go to Counseling and Psychological Services and talk to someone. The counselor I met with was helpful but what really got me out of my slump was pretty unexpected.

I remember the exact moment I realized RIT was not so bad after all. It happened after a long day of classes when I was heading down the Quarter Mile back to my dorm. I put my headphones in, put my head down and walked. Along the way I was stopped multiple times by different people that I had met during my weeks at RIT. They simply wanted to say hi and ask how I was. Suddenly I had the feeling that there were people here who cared about me.  I know it sounds weird, but those little conversations were the turning point for me. For the first time I felt like I actually belonged here.

From that day on everything changed. Not only did I start to feel at home, but I decided I wanted to help other students through their struggles.  I know how it feels to be lonely and unhappy and that it can make a huge difference when someone reaches out and asks how you are. This is why I became and Orientation Leader and an RIT 365 Peer Facilitator.

My story is not an uncommon one, but it is my story nonetheless. I’ve grown so much in the last two years. The naïve, unhappy person I was when I got here no longer exists. Thanks to people reaching out to me I’ve become someone who feels he belongs, and I wants to help others feel that way too.

Calvin Yang

RIT 365 Peer Educator