Reflections Penn (Norristown, Pa.) recently featured an article by Kaylie Granoff ’15, an English major at Arcadia University, who writes of the first chaotic days of her college experience. In addition to dealing with the tempest of acclimating to a new college environment and lifestyle, Granoff and her hall-mates were forced to weather a different storm: Hurricane Irene. With a little encouragement from her Resident Assistant and the aid of a popular board game, she quickly discovered connections and built strong bonds with her peers.
My RA (our hallway's resident assitant) took it upon herself to encourage our hallway's interaction. We began with the basics: sitting in a circle and telling a little about ourselves. Easy enough. Then she suggested that we join her in her dorm room for a game of Apples to Apples. This game, if you have never heard of it, is one that allows everyone playing to really show his or her personality, and share in a lot of laughter, no matter how well the players know each other. Most of the girls jumped at the chance, because it really is an addictive game. It started out a bit awkwardly, everyone trying to make small jokes to ease the tension. But soon, it became a room full of hilarity, everyone acting as through we had known each other forever, instead of only one day. We suddenly had "inside jokes" and discovered connections that we knew existed.
Sure enough, my apprehension disappeared. I was part of a group. It became apparent that everyone was feeling as uncomfortable as I was. Something as simple and cheesy as a card game had melted away fears and broken down the walls I had been so quick to build, opening me up to a world of new friends, experiences, and memories. And as an update: my hall-mates and I are now inseparable. Best friends even. From Apples to Apples to bonds that cannot be broken, these are my girls.