Club fair. City College of New York. Fall 2017 semester. Friendless. I see a huge Filipino flag being waved out of the corner of my eye. So I walk towards it.
A very enthusiastic girl asks me if I’m Filipino.
I reply “Yes, I am.”
She says “I would still ask you to come even if you weren’t.” She gives me a flier and asks me to come to a general meeting the following Thursday. I go.
The room is loud, there’s a lot of motion, and it gets warm very quickly. The icebreakers start. I don’t even remember which one it was of the countless games we’ve played at these meetings. It was uncomfortable, a lot of the freshmen looked out of their depth. At the end, the eboard says “Come down to Hoffman, if y’all wanna hang out!!!” Yes, with that many exclamation marks. I go down there by myself. Tall and awkward and feeling like a child.
At the time, I didn’t even notice the iconic red and yellow couches, the glass table (that has since been shattered), the now familiar faces. I was too busy trying not to make a fool of myself while talking to the guy who very kindly noticed my presence. I haven’t talked to that specific person much since, but from then on I knew I had somewhere to go to on a campus that even though is relatively small, sometimes can feel too big.