I’m a transfer student. This is my third year attending college and my first at Fontbonne, and I gotta say, it feels so good to be part of a university again! Since the semester started, I’ve discovered a whole plethora of reasons why Fontbonne is the school for me. I’m having trouble just keeping track of all the little things that have impressed me so far! I could recite a whole list of big changes I’ve felt since coming here, but it’s the little differences that are usually the most profound. I’ll start with one that might not seem like a huge deal, but it means the world to me: people here remember my name.
Now, this might seem pretty commonplace to most of you, but allow me to explain. My name is Arjuna Ganim. It’s pronounced exactly as it looks. I was born in America, and I’ve lived in St. Louis all my life. The ‘j’ does not sound like ‘h’ ‘w’ or ‘y.’ English is the only language I speak. In fact, I’m an English major working towards a secondary certificate in teaching. I’ve been given several nicknames over the years. I suspect that a lot of people simply don’t care enough to put forth the effort t0 try and learn my name. Every time I meet someone new, I have to stand there and spell out, pronounce, and explain it for them. Let me tell you, this gets exhausting after the eleven millionth time.
For my first year of college, I attended a massive university away from home. You know when they say that you might end up being just a number at big colleges? They’re right. My classes were all huge, making it difficult for professors to connect with every student. On more than one occasion I’d see one of my professors walking by on the street. I’d wave to him and he’d wave back politely, but he wouldn’t have the slightest idea of who I was or what was my name (much less how to pronounce it correctly).
That’s where the difference comes in. At Fontbonne, every single one of my teachers can recognize me by face. To them, I’m not simply student #465320. I’m Arjuna Ganim, and I can’t begin to describe how good that makes me feel.