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The Aquinas Community

Most of the time a person’s deciding factor in choosing a college is cost. The more affordable the school, the more likely they are to attend. And while this is true for Aquinas and many of the students here, there is also another, more prevalent factor: the community. There really is nothing like the Aquinas community. Everyone I encounter, whether that be students, faculty, or staff, seems to genuinely care how I’m doing. It’s not just the casual “Hey, how’s it going?” that happens when you pass acquaintances on the street. It seems that everyone really truly wants to know the state of my wellbeing or what is going on in my life, even if they only have a minute to chat. And it’s beautiful.

A few weeks ago I had an encounter like this that really changed me. It was midterm week and I was on my way to a Programming Board meeting. I was drowning in stress and papers and studying and, truth be told, I wasn’t really looking forward to the meeting, despite my love for AQPB. But when I was rounding the corner on the Wege stairs to go to the ballroom, I ran into one of my old professors. I had, truthfully, only met this particular professor at the beginning of the spring semester, and while we had a very good relationship, it was still very new. It wasn’t like the ones that come about after having a professor for years. I hadn’t seen her since May, when the last semester ended, and when I saw her that day her face broke into one of the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen. It stopped me dead in my tracks. We exchanged niceties, but since I was running late we couldn’t catch up like I wanted to. The whole exchange only last about 30 seconds, but there was something so real about it that I was reminded how strong the Aquinas community really is.

The best part is that this is a common occurrence. There is always something in every “hello” I exchange that implies how much people genuinely care about each other here. Amidst the chaos and exhaustion of life, when everything is piling up and seems to be getting worse, those small exchanges make it all worth it. I am reminded daily why I chose Aquinas and why, day after day, it is such a good place to be.

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