I never doubted where I belonged on campus. As a freshman, I gravitated toward the East Side. I grew up in a quiet suburb, and East Campus offered me so much of what I had never experienced. What I realize now is that I was looking for a place that I felt comfortable to really express myself in ways that weren’t obvious to me before. Looking back at the past 3+ years, EC has been so much more than a residence for me. I feel truly safe to be myself here, and because of that I have gained so much confidence in myself and in who I am. I could have never found that without the nurturing community our culture fosters and the everlasting friendships I’ve made along the way. EC, and the East Side as a whole, is a unique place in this world. I don’t want to say that I don’t want it to ever change – the beautiful thing about the East Side is how much it can and does change in response to those living in it – but I do hope that it can always continue to exist as a place for students to truly live their lives and be comfortable in their own skin.