A while back, I stumbled across a fantastic blog called Humans of New York that I still keep up with to this day. The entire concept centers on a photographer who captures pictures of people as they go about their daily lives. He then posts these photos, with permission, and shares a bit of the conversation he had with the individuals he encountered. This blog focuses solely on individuals, with their talents, regrets and simplest to most profound thoughts. Viewers may come to realize the sacredness and value of each and every person and may find anything from humor to solace in a documentation of a simple encounter.

Inspired by this, I have decided to tackle this in my own way. Call it an exercise in focusing on the value of human interaction and the uniqueness that may be found in the community that binds me with my fellow students. To start this challenge off, I caught a few moments with Cassie Hanlin and would like to share a bit of her perspective that always proves to be edifying.

Ladies and gents, Cassie Hanlin.

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Brief intro: This woman is a riot. She has an amiable nature, fluency in humor and sarcasm, and desire to love God and His people. She’s a third-year student hoping to go on to graduate school, and she is also an intern for the Office of Mobilization. We caught a few moments to talk while grabbing coffee from Wanda’s before moving on to our next classes. We got to catch up on how we’re doing with homework, ISP, leadership applications and the like. It was then that I decided to pick her brain about what her life is like as a student, specifically at CBU. She responded with insight that is only fitting to share.

When I asked about one difference from high school to college life, Cassie mentioned the variety of relationships formed. “I’ve been surprised by how you can have more personal relationships with older people, being at a university,” she replied. “It’s not weird to want to get to know your professors – you can actually enjoy seeing them after class.”

I then asked how she feels that she has grown since being here and what it was that sparked that. Her answer was, “I’ve honestly experienced an entire shift in worldview. When I came here I had to come to terms with why I needed God for the first time in my life. Meeting people here and interacting with the MOB Office encouraged me to really understand truth and gain my own knowledge of what that is.”

As our time ran out and we hurried off to class, I asked her what piece of advice she would give to a large group of young people. She laughed and stopped a minute to say, “It’s funny, because we have a lot more responsibility than you would think. Right now I’m realizing exactly how important it is to budget. So stay on top of finances. Also, I’m realizing how important it is to think outside of myself. The world’s needs are bigger than my own, and that’s good to remember.”

I’m always amazed by the value of happenstance conversations and the necessity in swapping thoughts, ideas and emotions. There is always something to be gained from even the briefest of encounters, and I hope those pile up into a world of good as I leave you for now. Readers, I will see you next time.