I have explored the concept of community before, but I can’t seem to get if off of my mind because examples of what community is, how it works and what it means to various people keep popping up everywhere.
As my youngest son plows his way through reams of virtual paperwork while working through the college admission process, community rises up again. His university requires students to become part of a Learning Community. The school is trying to match up freshmen with similar academic interests, enable them to live near each other and meld them into support groups.
It makes a lot of sense. Some students don’t know how to handle the sudden freedom from parental oversight, but others can. Some have no clue how to manage their time or money without mom and dad masterminding the schedule and finances, but others are very adept at it. Some are very introverted and don’t know how to reach out to strangers and make friends, but others make a new friend every day. The students are there to help and support each other. I don't imagine the students in the communities will all become instant and intimate friends, but this university is trying to make sure no one feels isolated and alone.
I don’t know when they initiated Learning Communities, but it sounds like a wise decision particularly in light of the shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007 and other college shootings that have taken place since then.
If no student is allowed to be an island, if they are required to meet with their communities regularly, perhaps troubled young people can be discovered and helped before another tragedy occurs.
So, here’s another example of community. I suspect I will continue to explore the subject as I continue to look for new communities of my own since my place in the mommy and homeschooling communities is ending.
And if he lets me, I’ll also share some of my son’s new experiences of community as he transitions into a college student.