In high school I was always the weird kid–I mitigated my strangeness so people would find me mildly funny and entertaining instead of too strange to associate with. So be it. When I got to EC and moved into my hall, I gradually learned how to shed that facade and (this is so damn corny but what the hell) be my actual self. We’re close here because we’re open–people aren’t afraid to hide ourselves from each other, because we trust each other to keep us safe and accept who we are and what we do. Last semester, I struggled a lot with depression that made it difficult to act like a human being, never mind do my coursework. My friends sat with me when I cried and made sure I got the help I needed. What’s more, they reminded me that I was still a person they cared about, for good reasons, and that this wasn’t my fault, no matter how much I wanted to believe it was. When you live surrounded by people who know you for who you truly are, and who care about you because you are you, not because you’re the smart kid or you’re pretty or funny, even when things get really terrible, they’ll be there for you and you for them.