Community vs. Individualism

Topics: University, Individualism, Individual Pages: 4 (1538 words) Published: November 18, 2012
Community vs. Individualism
Individual and community are two words whose meanings contrast each other. An individual is one who is self-sufficient and not reliant on outside forces to get whatever task complete. A community however, is a group of individuals whose sufficiency is intertwined with one another, and therefore can rely on each other. In her narrative essay, “Community and Diversity”, Rebekah Nathan unveils the individualistic society that was her college experience. She describes life as a freshman from her own point of view and examines the characteristics of the student population at her university. She uses her own experience as a microcosm of university life throughout the country, but her account does not represent all schools appropriately. She says, “They (students) genuinely want to have a close community, while at the same time they resist the claims that community makes on their schedule and resources in the name of individualism, spontaneity, freedom, and choice”(Nathan 233). Her description exposes the student body as being largely individualistic, which is not always the case. In this essay, I will argue that not all campus life in universities today is individualistic, because there is still a great deal of community amongst the student body.

To begin with, saying that campus life is geared towards being an individual is not always true. Students go out of their way to join clubs and participate in study groups and review sessions. They want to come together and form an alliance for academics or just to be social. In her essay, Nathan claims that our nation as a whole is becoming an advocate of “individualism”. While this may be true, it in no way means that university life is affected by this. People come to college to not only further their academic quest, but to expand their horizons and to network with their peers. For example, an incoming freshman has the capability of joining a learning community related to their...

Cited: 1) Surowiecki, James. “Committees, Juries, and Teams: The Columbia Disaster and How Small
Groups Can Be Made to Work.” Emerging: Contemporary Readings for Writers. Ed Barclay
Barrios. Boston, MA. Bedford/St. Martins, 2010. 439-452. Print.
2) Nathan, Rebekah. “Community and Diversity” Emerging: Contemporary Readings for
Writers. Ed Barclay Barrios. Boston, MA. Bedford/St. Martins, 2010. 439-452. Print.
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