Food truly brings people together. I have fond memories of cooking with my family when I was younger. During the holidays, we would make thin sugar cookies with a single almond in the center called sand tarts. On any occasion, we would roll out some pre-made pizza dough as best we could, and load it with tons of toppings.
In continuation with family traditions, my roommates and I host dinners occasionally for our friends. A few Fridays ago, we invited them over to eat and catch up, and it gave us a chance to wind down from the week and to eat some delicious food together. The menu: meatloaf and mac n’ cheese. I realize the choice of meatloaf is somewhat controversial, but I promise it’s a good recipe (I’ll let you know how it goes over). Everyone invited contributed a side, a drink, or a dessert, and we ended up with a really amazing spread.
Hosting these dinners made me think about who is coming to the table: an art conservator, a mathematician, an entomologist, multiple engineers, and a physicist, to name a few. It has made me remember that college provides such a unique opportunity for us to interact with so many different people. Starting with freshman year, we are given the chance to talk to people from all over the country with all different interests and passions.
These are also the same friends that I met during the 1743 Welcome Days in Fall of 2018 and did homework with in the lounges of Redding. We have had three years and some change to work together and grow as friends. In the beginning, we all had similar skill sets, and we were completing our General Education requirements. So, it was intuitive to work together. I would remind someone of the rules for logarithms, and they would remind me that the book title in my essay needed to be in bold.
As time has passed, we have learned more about each other, and we have become more specialized in our career paths; yet, we still see the value in being part of the same team. I can explain the latest news about the mRNA vaccine to my math major friend, and she can make sure that I am deriving my kinetics equations correctly. Collaborating with one another also allows us all to widen the range of information that we know. A friend and I once traded essay prompts with each other: one was on a chemistry topic and the other was on electrical engineering–we have yet to complete them, but the sentiment to help each other and lift each other up is always there.
It is an amazing thing to watch these people grow into such accomplished academics, and to move on to contribute to the world with the skills that they have gained. I hope that in the future, I will have the privilege of working with them, but if not, I hope that I will remember the benefits of collaborating with others, especially if your skill sets differ. To everyone on their college journeys, whatever your paths may be, I hope you realize that the recipe for success is recognizing how cool it is to work with the people around you. Try to talk to everyone (even professors!) to gain unique perspectives. Maybe one day, you’ll start inviting them to dinners and get to see each other grow into people who will make a difference in the world.