It is hard being the “new kid.” I had forgotten what it was like to fear sharing my thoughts with other and this has led me to re-learning a lesson about being myself.
For the last 4 years, I had been apart of graduate school cohort. All the members of this cohort started the program at the same time. We had the opportunity to grow and develop together. We quickly relied on each other as a way to survive in our graduate program. In this cohort, I was able to speak my mind and have very little fear of offending someone or feeling like my opinion was not valued.
Starting at GCC this last semester was exciting and nerve-racking since I would be the “new kid” in the department. Upon joining the department, I found that everyone was nice and willing to assist me if I had a problem with students or needed help with resources. I automatically felt relaxed and welcomed. But I still did not feel comfortable sharing my thoughts with others for fear of being ostracized. The problem with being the “new kid” is wanting to fit in.
I wanted to feel like a member of this new department. However, I started to feel disconnected and moody since I had been keeping my thoughts to myself. I had to tell myself that I am still allowed to have an opinion even if the rest of my department does not agree.
So for the last three weeks, I have been sharing my thoughts and opinions with others in my department. I do not believe that I have offended anyone and I am feeling more like a contributing member of my new community.
This first year at GCC has reminded me that I like who I am and my thoughts matter. Regardless of wanting to fit in, I need to share my thoughts in order to be a valuable member in my department.