On my first visit to UB in February of my junior year, I spent most of my time here following a tour guide around campus with Mom, Dad, and a couple other student/parent pairs or trios. We ventured hither and yon all over campus with absolutely no sense of direction and at the end of the tour, we lingered so we could ask the tour guide a question or two. One of us, I can’t remember who, asked what her favorite thing about this college was. “Diversity.” This answer was not one I cared for or could relate to. I had just spent about an hour chasing this stranger around this intimidatingly large, confusingly twisted and rather cold campus, and the best thing she could tell me about it was that there were a lot of people who were different there. Being in the overwhelmed state that I was in at the time, I disregarded this because diversity frankly wasn’t anything I’d had much experience with in the past.
By some miracle I ended up here, despite the unnerving first visit. And I can vouch for the tour guide: the diversity is not only amazingly vast, but also vastly amazing. I have friends and professors who were born in other countries, am close to hallmates who celebrate different religions and cultures, and have been exposed to people from backgrounds I couldn’t even begin to imagine. The immersion in diversity is forcing me to learn so much (in a good way) and exposing me to a lot of opportunities I’ve never had before.
This weekend, I got to experience one of those great opportunities when I went to Holi, an Indian spring festival with Sanjee. It’s something I’ve only read about before and I couldn’t describe it as anything less than amazing. The highlight (rather literally) of the festival is that everyone is given colored powder to throw at each other while they dance and run around. It was held at Baird Point, a little park area next to the lake-pond (known for its classic pillars), which is beautiful to begin with, but even more so when you add a myriad of bright colors. I ended up an absolute mess after only an hour but I had such a great time and you can bet I’ll be going back again next year.
On a completely opposite note, I’m ready to come home. Spring break feels like ages ago and I miss you guys tons. The countdown is going (11 days)! I’m sending my love.