If you choose to come to Amherst, take a campus tour, or talk to students about how amazing this place is, you'll always hear the classic line, "Amherst is SUCH a close-knit community." As a tour, that's always something I say but no one has really asked me WHY Amherst is a close-knit community, or what students do that makes it one. Well, I finally thought of something so if you ever come on a tour or ask me why we're a close-knit community, I got an answer.
As I mentioned in the "About Me" section, I transferred to Amherst my sophomore year after having studied at a community college in Los Angeles. Because my orientation was the same as the orientation for the Class of 2015, most of the friends I made were freshmen at the time. So now, as a junior, I have a lot of sophomore friends. As part of my process to get to know more people in my class (and to not be the guy at the 25th reunion who everyone looks at and asks, "You went to school with us?") I've been reaching out to other members of the class of 2014. This includes anything from email, asking 2014 friends to introduce me to other juniors, etc.
I'm going to be honest: even I thought this was crazy. At this point in our careers, everyone at Amherst has their close friend group. To try to infiltrate those groups would be social suicide. I imagined going up to people and trying to get to know them, and this is what I thought would happen:
Which would result in me reacting like this:
Needless to say, I should probably stop letting my imagination run wild. Here's the reaction I ACTUALLY got from people:
People are so friendly! I guess I always knew this, but I only knew it because my friends were friendly. I never thought people who didn't know me would be so excited to meet a new person! So yes, Amherst IS a close-knit community. Students here are more than willing to get to know you. Now you know that the close-knot community thing is not just something our supervisors make us say; it's a reality. We experience this small community feeling every single day.
Shout-out to my great friend, Matt '14, who was the one who encouraged me to reach out to people and reassured me that they would be really friendly. Matt, you are simply the best. Here's a GIF for you: