The Christopher Sanders of Freshman Experience

CHRISTOPHER SANDERS

STAFF WRITER

The day I filled out my Manhattanville application and was accepted into Manhattanville College I knew that I was in for the adventure of a lifetime. The first time I boarded a plane and touched down in New York City was a joyous day for me. When I arrived in New York City, I had no idea what was in store for me, but I knew that I was going to the place that has always been my home.

The airport opened my eyes to everything I had seen in movies, books, magazines and more; with people in a rush, the smells of New York City life and such beauty and excitement. I smiled from the moment I boarded the plane till I went to bed for the first time in my dorm.

Since the very first day that I came to Manhattanville College, I have never felt such peace in my entire life. I was thrust into a world where I didn’t know anybody or anything. I was nervous and scared, but I found a way to stop being nervous and scared and I just embraced everything. I moved into my dorm and met my roommate who embraced me as more than just a friend, but a brother. I never knew what it was like to have a brother. Meeting my roommate was just the start, I met wonderful people who I have the honor to call my family. Manhattanville College and my friends opened me up to the wonders and ideas of life. I was thrown into the magic of college life and New York life. I experienced things that I never thought I would see, think, or do. If I could describe my life in just one word since coming to Manhattanville College, it would be, changed. I have changed and grown in ways that I never knew would happen to me.

PHOTO CREDIT: CHRIS SANDERS

The classes have been a complex reality that makes learning that much more fun. I have had the honor, the privilege of being taught by brilliant professors that have expanded my knowledge and filled my mind with things that I never really considered before. My classes have given me an in-depth approach to writing, dancing, public speaking, French, mathematics, communications and more. The thrill of learning is so incredible, picking up a book or attending a lecture is the most exhilarating experience ever. Manhattanville College has turned me into an even bigger nerd and I love it.

All my life I have dreamed of going to college, making lifelong friends, becoming the man I always knew I meant going to be, and really making a difference. I have really flourished as a writer, actor, and dancer from the clubs and organizations I am part of. Touchstone Newspaper, Graffiti Literary Magazine, B@M (Broadway at Manhattanville), BSU (Black Student Union), P.R.I.D.E, UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund), and SOCA (Students of Caribbean Affiliation). Every club and organization has given me a new look on things I just read in books or googled on the internet. Every club and organization are so much more, these clubs give me a sense of style and understanding to a world of bravery, kindness, rights, literature, connections, and more. I find it so amazing that I am part of a community of kindred spirits who welcome me and not as a student, but family.

I have grown as a writer, dancer, singer, and public speaker, but most importantly as a person. I have performed in Drag, which I will do again, I have really let myself go at parties, explored New York City, eaten such incredible foods, and enjoyed just going with the flow. College life, New York life has changed me. It’s like flying with the wind as my guide and the beauty of nature as my home with my family.

Before coming to Manhattanville College I thought that I had my whole life figured out, but certain things have given me a new perspective on what I really want to do with my life. All my life I have had to hide certain things about myself to “fit-in” but I have always remained true to the passion and creativity that I have. I have a passion for dancing, writing, acting, singing, making friends, debates and more. The passion I have has impacted my life and enriched my soul. It’s who I am. My life has always been a wonderland to do this or that and I finally have the courage to be brave and embrace the things that I am passionate about. My life didn’t start when I grew up or came out, but it will end with me doing what I love.

Some of my experiences have been a little negative but those experiences have made me a stronger man and given me a thicker skin. I don’t regret the choices I made or the negativity. The things that make me weaker are the things I am afraid to hear. I never wanted to attend a college where people are constantly walking on eggshells around me. I wanted to attend a college where I was loved, accepted, respected, and given good, honest criticism about myself and my work. I didn’t just choose Manhattanville College, Manhattanville College chose me.

I am proud to be a Valiant and I will always uphold the integrity, honor, strength, and knowledge of Manhattanville College. All of my experiences have opened me up and turned me into a different man, a man I never thought I could be and always wanted to be. I never questioned coming to Manhattanville College, I questioned being good enough for Manhattanville College.

Every day I am helping make a difference and I will continue to do so. Manhattanville is my home, I’m a Valiant Forever with my family. I don’t regret anything, but I would like to go back in time to the first day I arrived at Manhattanville College because that day was a day I will never forget. That day was the day my life started, guess where it will end?