It takes a village: the importance of support

By Mbulelo Maqungo
On November 8, 2019

Mbulelo Maqungo, contributor

When I was younger, any time my two older brothers and I received praise from other adults, my parents always responded with “Thank you! It takes a village to raise a child, you know?” I always thought this phrase was really strange. I only had one mom and dad who told me what to do, so why would they say that? Obviously, we learn a lot of outside lessons from teachers, coaches and mentors as we grow up, but it took me coming to college to see that the African proverb I always heard had more than one meaning.

There are a great number of students who aren’t involved on campus and only attend class. While that should be our main goal, it’s important to have a healthy community you can call your own while you study here. A good group enhances your college experience. It’s easy to think you can handle all of life’s challenges on your own, but we are all capable of accomplishing more in groups than we can alone. ASU has over 50 registered student organizations and clubs available for people looking for folks with common interests.

Before coming to college, much of our support came from people we knew our whole lives, which means many of us didn’t have to go through the awkward transition of being in a new place with no friends. Making new friends and putting yourself out there is scary, but it’s also a fresh start and a chance to meet and learn from differ­ent kinds of people. You’ll gain so much more from going and trying out for a team or group with people than you would spending all your time in your dorm or apartment.

Getting out of our comfort zone and forming bonds is one of the most important parts of college. Great friends support you in the hard times and share in your success during the good times. So, if you ever catch yourself begrudgingly binge-watching your fourth Netflix series alone, consider stepping out and finding something, or someone, you’ve never known. It’s always a good day to do something new.

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