- ‘Tis the season of giving — UAB launches holiday blood drive
- How a cybersecurity expert protects his smartphone
- ASC presents Take 6, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” Dec. 15
- Leeth named UAB School of Medicine assistant dean for strategic planning
- Coping with holiday grief
- New water plan saves big money
- Campus police offer holiday safety tips
- Alys Stephen Center Screens Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago
- Hospital feeds underprivileged new moms
- UAB’s Alys Stephens Center presents Yo-Yo Ma Dec. 6
- Southern Miss tops Blazers, 62-27, in season ending game
- Henry Panion selected for 2014 Alabama African-American History Calendar
- Enjoy Christmas at the Alys Dec. 2, “The Season’s First Jingle”
- Engineering’s Ning wins ASTM International award
- Collat School of Business unveils sign at celebration
Viewpoint: Community Building
One of my closest friends and I have been friends since we were in middle school. Back then, we used AOL Instant Messaging for all of our juicy gossip. Today, we sit around, eat, complain about homework, and watch Netflix together (Strange Addictions, Parks & Recreation and Portlandia, among the top favorites).
We talk just about every week, so over our eight years of friendship, the changes we’ve gone through separately have been subtle and not easily noticed by one another. Recently, however, I’ve been having people from high school send me friend requests on Facebook. Usually, I delete them immediately and don’t look back. However, I’ve been enjoying getting to reintroduce myself to them as a new person.
People from high school that I’ve recently reconnected with have showed new maturity, more experienced humor, and a greater love for life; all things that I’d like to think that I’ve improved on, too). UAB doesn’t know the high school me (thankfully, or else I probably wouldn’t have many things going for me), but high school friends can know the UAB me.
Just last month, I got a friend request from a name I didn’t recognize. After some slight Facebook stalking, it turned out that it was someone that graduated my high school the year before me. It turns out, too, that he is trans. So, we’ve been able to reconnect on the basis that we are struggling the same struggle; we both understand being born in a body that doesn’t belong to us. It was an incredible feeling to get to know him again, and our recent encounters have resulted in a newfound respect and appreciation for one another.
That is all the proof I need that Facebook is actually an okay thing to have. It’s hard to find trans friends in this town, unfortunately, so I was ecstatic to know that because of social media, I can create a base for a support group. Online activity of any community is a great way to find resources, friends, councilors, and doctors in cases that a doctor is needed.
I hate to be campy, but I really do believe that people should always have the ability to get reacquainted with others that they formerly knew: it’s the second chance thing. If I had just deleted all my past friend requests, I wouldn’t have been able to find a trans brother or an old friend again. Socializing shouldn’t be the main goal of going to college, but it shouldn’t be ignored. By reaching out to people on campus, anyone can create an online or physical support group for those of different races, beliefs, sexual orientations, or gender identities.