By: Marta Djalleta
The last time that I was forced to learn a large amount of people’s names would probably have to be kindergarten. In my elementary school there were four classrooms with about twenty kids in each. Putting names to faces was a challenge for me but from that year on it became easier. My circles grew in middle school and high school but already having that basis of 80 names in my head helped me expand from there. At the time of my graduation from high school, out of a class of 357 students, there were maybe only twenty that I did not know. I took pride in knowing my surroundings and being able to say hi in the hallway to the girl who I haven’t talked to since second grade. Knowing my surroundings gave me comfort and confidence and made me feel apart of a community.
Finally stepping on to campus, I realized I have missed a whole semester of name learning. Meeting a minimum of five new faces a day, it has been a challenge keeping it all straight in my head. Not to mention, having to deal with getting acquainted with every other small detail on campus.
With all the new things that I knew I’d be learning, I expected names to come easy to me, just as it had in my prior life. However, what I had failed to realize is that my community has changed. My circle of familiar faces is in another place now. What is here with me now is entirely new. Learning new names has not come with a large basis to build off of. This name confusion has made the first couple weeks, pretty difficult and filled with hesitant “hey …?.”
What has made this transition somewhat easier is having a good ol’ gapper just a wall away from me. Between the two of us we have been able to figure out the names of the people we had just been introduced to for the fifth time.
While it may be a challenge, learning names is a part of joining and embracing a new community. While the Elon community has been the largest I have faced thus far, I am ready for the ride. I am ready for a fresh start and a new community. I am ready to learn new names. I am ready for kindergarten part two.