When I was younger I heard somewhere that in times of crisis, you find out where your real support system is. The week before spring break, I had a love/hate relationship with finding that out.
The Monday before break happened I was sitting through a lab and as the professor was giving his final notes, everyone began to clean up their tables and grab their bags. My first reaction is always to take out my phone and ID and move them to my pockets for easier access. I had four frantic missed calls from various family members and knew something was wrong.
Then, my biggest fear about being in college happened. My dad was hospitalized and here I was, sitting in the hallway of a building two hours away from home, bawling not knowing what to do. I don’t have a car on campus, I had midterms and a job interview all lined up for that week and I didn’t know where to begin.
From orientation (but especially from my job there) I knew that every student has a resource, The Dean of Students Office, for situations like these. Well, lab is a later class, and the office was closed, now what?
My professor, leaving the room, noticed my (probably quite loud) sobs and my lost self. He patiently waited until I got off the phone, calmed down enough to speak, and asked what happened. When I explained to him my hectic week and my inability to process what was going on he offered his best advice, told me not to worry about the midterms or anything, and to let him know what he could do. My best friend sat with me and looked up greyhound tickets, airplanes, and anything that could get me home as quickly as possible.
I saw the professor whose midterm was latest in the week and explained my situation. She expressed her sympathies, told me not to worry about her midterm, and we’d work something out.
I got the same responses from every professor and staff member I contacted. I didn’t just have my friends; I had this amazing support system, displaying their true colors. My professor from lab kept up with me to see if there was anything he could to.
Everyone went above and beyond just the simple “I’m so sorry to hear” and truly extended every offer from a talk, a hug, phone numbers, and even from two very special people extended offers of a ride home.
I was astounded. I knew great people were on campus at GB, but I never would have expected this in the least.
When I returned from spring break, everyone continued to show concern. When I explained to one professor how everything with my dad’s surgery had gone smoothly, we were just worried about him not being able to help me move back home in May (My dad cannot lift for eight weeks), that professor said “Just e-mail me, I’m there.”
Yes, I would have rather not had this experience at all, but if anything it showed me exactly what I love about GB and why I’m happy to be here.
And if all telling this story does is make you feel more comfortable leaving home(no matter how far away “home” is), or sending your child away for the first time- you have nothing to worry about. You don’t just have regular help and sympathy; you have wonderful, caring people who make up this amazing support system that is truly unique.