Follow your own star! –Dante Alighieri
No matter what happens, I know ballroom dance will be a lifelong hobby. One, I am an energetic individual, and dance fits me perfectly. Two, it is the fellowship. Growing up in the Church, I heard this word to the point of annoyance. What is it anyway? Fellowship is the sense of intimacy that can be achieved when individuals gather under a common thread. One can have fellowship during a Bible study. One can have fellowship when having lunch with one’s friends. One can have fellowship just about anywhere provided that all the parties involved are willing to put aside differences and come together as a cohesive unit. I’ve experienced more moments of fellowship when I’m ballroom dancing then when I’m at college, which saddens me. Ballroom dance will be there for the rest of my life. College will not.
I love college, especially the Honors program that I participate in. There’s only one thing that has dampened my experience: snobby people. Sure, I know they’re everywhere, but perhaps I was expecting too much when I hoped that people would put pride aside to appreciate the variety we have in the program. Most of the snobbishness has come from the English majors, a degree I once considered getting. Granted, most of their comments to me have been in jest, but I’m quite insecure when it comes to my intellect. It’s just something I need to work on. Specifically, I’ve been teased—and genuinely berated—on the books that I have not read. For example, I was chatting with a truly sweet friend of mine over lunch this week. We would be reading Beowulf soon for one of our Honors’ classes, and I was not too thrilled as older English literature is not my cup of tea. She had read it, and told me it reminded her of something from Lord of the Rings. I had only read The Hobbit, not the actual trilogy, and had to ask her to water down her reference. She explained it and teasingly said, “Shame on you!” for not having read the trilogy. Again, I am insecure about my intellect, so what should not have been painful hurt anyway. I’ve gotten similar reactions when I’ve told people I’ve only read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe from C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series.
Even when said in jest, I firmly believe one should never make such a statement to other people because you’ll never know how they’ll react. Life hands each of us a variety of experiences from all ends of the spectrum. When we come together, it’s that variety and social unification despite this that creates fellowship. It’s perfectly okay to encourage people to experience new things, such as read a new book. (I tend to shamelessly plug ballroom dance in conversation…) It is not okay to berate someone on what they have not experienced yet.
So, will I get to those books, the uncouth ask? Yes, I am an avid reader, and will get to them someday. But, right now, I want to focus on the wonders of college, the magic of ballroom dance, and the possibilities of love. (I’ve been around way too many wedding couples at the studio, and a good number of my college friends have recently gotten engaged.) I have metaphorically “followed my own star” and believe I am rich in wonderful experiences absent of regrets. So, friends, be happy for your own experiences, and seek true fellowship.