Madi’s Thoughts on Community: It Depends on Us

Hi my name is Madi and I am a member of the Cortina community. Cortina. What is there to say about Cortina? It’s one of those things in life where words really don’t do justice to the meaning, entity, and experience that Cortina is. I hope that my short post here will sufficiently express the motivation of the program and give a brief insight into what Cortina means.

To me, the Cortina community is a place that I can go where I know that everyone around me is a feeling being. That might sound a bit wonky, but hear me out. These people feel in a way that is evident, present, vivacious, and extraordinary. The feelings flow freely, discourse is a constant, and opinions are made well known. There is little sense of apprehension and a great sense of trust. The community is a living, trustworthy, warm entity that is made up of all the wonderful people who have put themselves on the line to be accepted (or denied, always a possibility) by their peers. As with any situation in life, there is always fear that one/one’s ideas will be rejected, shot down, or dismissed; however, within the Cortina community I feel that fear is greatly diminished. The reason I feel that this is the case lies in the fact that everyone in the community is here with purpose, intention. Those intentions and purposes cover a large spectrum of things from being devoted to service, to learning more about their religious/spiritual life, to making new friends, to even living in an amazing dorm. But, no matter how different those intentions might be, nobody just happened into this community by chance. Everyone made a choice, a commitment to this community and THAT is what makes Cortina stand out. We are all committed, purposeful individuals who have banded together to share our passions, our struggles, our ideas, and to engage in life in a very different way.

I have learned lots about the people I live and thrive in this community with, but almost more importantly I have learned lots about myself. I have learned, through the help of my community, that it is ok to get excited about ethics. It’s ok to nerd out on the latest One Direction song. It’s ok to sing Spice Girls at 8am. It’s ok to talk about female genital mutilation in everyday conversation. It is MORE than ok to express my true emotions, have them challenged, and have them change. More than anything I have learned how to grow and accept and love even when it is difficult.

I have had a wonderful experience so far in Cortina and I know it can only continue to get better through the year. I hope that who ever reads this realizes that this is not a pitch for the community, it is not a fancy post I put together to attract any particular crowd. This is just my real experience and I wanted to share it with people who care to listen.

May you too be able to grow as a person, expand your mind, and create new friendships wherever you go. If you are looking for a place to do so at Creighton, Cortina is a great place to start. But if there is anything I have learned from living in a community, it is that community can be built wherever you want it to be built. It is not a place or physical structure. It is an understanding and love that resonates with the people involved. It is made and sustained by those who want it to exist. It depends on the individual. It depends on me. It depends on us.

-Madi

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