Students entering their freshmen year at college will be facing many new people from different backgrounds. Not every student is 100% tolerant and will face students who are from different monetary classes, race, sexual preference, and of course have different likes and dislikes. Unless you choose your roommates you will most likely find someone that comes from a different background, and has very different choices. I was not a very tolerant student when I entered my freshmen year; my biggest fear was having a homosexual or “gay” roommate. I will not give out my ex roommates name in this article but we will refer to him as Gary; this article will take a look at how my tolerance grew, and how other people should keep an open mind in college and abroad.
I was raised in a strictly Christian family that did not teach me tolerance towards homosexual behavior; therefore going into college my biggest fear was that I would get a random gay roommate. I met my roommates Ben and Gary and thought they were very cool people, I knew Ben from high school and Gary was a random pick. We did everything together from playing pool to going to get dinner. I thought my roommates were both very nice people, and my fears were quickly put to rest. College was not a bad experience; however I found it odd that Gary who was in many opinions a good looking guy never had a girlfriend. Seven months passed and we were all living in relative harmony, of course we had our disagreements, but that is to be expected in a dorm room setting.
Gary sent me a text and told me he had something very important to tell me, and I was the first one he was telling. I immediately thought he was joking and said “what are you gay Gary?” I felt like a jerk shortly after when Gary told me he was in fact gay and kept it a secret from even his closest friends his whole life. My views immediately changed; I had a girlfriend but Gary still did a lot with us such as getting dinner, and going out to parties. Gary was from any point of view one of the guys in every way imaginable except his sexual preference was different than mine. The entire year I got to know a really great guy for who he was instead of what his preferences were. I am now very tolerant and accept all people for who they are. I had a great freshmen year understanding that gay people are not any different than any of my other friends.
Tolerance in college is something that is learned not something that can simply be taught. We all have our prejudices, whether it is about someone of a different race or of a jock. College freshmen need to learn to be more tolerant because everyone that comes from a different group has more in common than you may ever know until you get to know them for who they really are.