Living in the “Berry bubble” makes it easy to be surrounded by the same people day in and day out. For the most part, Berry students are likely interacting with people who are generally around their age and from a similar background. Save for faculty and staff, most of us here are in the relatively same stage of life.
With so much happening on campus all the time, it is also easy for students to stay on campus and never interact with the surrounding community. Whether it is because they do not have a car or because they do not have much interest in what is going on off campus, plenty of students opt to stay in the bubble for a Berry-centric experience. Interacting with the community, however, is as easy as heading over The Spires and taking part in one of their events.
Many Berry students are aware of the existence of The Spires and its close proximity to campus, but few ever go over there to participate in events. A number of jobs are available to students, but outside of that, how often do you hear about what is going on over there?
One of the best things you can do as a college student is to take advantage of all the connections you can make. It might lead you to your dream job or simply just help build a friendship that you can cherish for well beyond your college years, but no matter what, you can do nothing but benefit from this opportunity. Intergenerational relationships especially are a special kind of relationship you can begin to build, as they provide benefits on both sides, and they can be just as impactful as the relationships you build with people your own age.
Intergenerational relationships can help reduce the seemingly ever-growing divide between younger and older generations. Both sides bring something to the table to teach the other, whether it be technology, communication skills, new perspectives or something else of the like. They can help decrease the feeling of loneliness in older adults and build a stronger community all around. Especially during college, they can function like a mentor relationship that opens the door to various opportunities in the future.
When thinking of an intergenerational relationship, many may think of the relationship between a grandparent and grandchild. Intergenerational relationships can and do exist outside of the family, however. You can foster a similar relationship with an older adult from your community, whether they be a coworker, gym buddy or member of a nearby retirement home.
The location of The Spires offers a unique opportunity to both Spires residents and Berry students. Spires residents can enjoy many of the opportunities on the Berry campus, from auditing a class to watching a choral concert, and students are welcome to participate in the many events that happen at the Spires. If they go often enough, students are sure to start building a relationship with the residents there.
The issue with this, however, is that many students are unaware of what is going on at The Spires. Their events do not show up on the “Stall Wall,” and it is oftentimes something that simply does not show up on students’ radars. This is something that we should make more of an effort to change, as Spires residents love connecting with Berry students. Whether this be through Berry sanctioned events that bring the two groups together or via an email that notifies students of what events The Spires is putting on throughout the month, bringing the two communities together can be a simple yet rewarding task.
Next time you have a day off, consider checking out The Spires for a day. Who knows? You might just end up starting a relationship that will last for years to come.