I moved to Corvallis, Oregon about a week and a half ago. The ocean along the Pacific Northwest coast waved and I had to wave back (I’m studying nearshore oceanography here).
A small, quaint town of just under 59,000, Corvallis boasts a wealth of local coffee shops, breweries, hiking and biking trails, and the winding Willamette River, one of less than 50 rivers in the United States to flow from south to north (to put it into perspective, the U.S. has over 250,000 rivers1&2).
This past week has brought with it plenty of new experiences, from cycling along the sun-dappled roads through OSU to reading in the shade of a berry patch near my new home (I live with three other gents in their 20s on the west side of town), and I’ve been able to enjoy the relaxed nature of the town in summer.
However (and there must be a however given the title of this post), I have found my office space rather empty before the fall semester starts. The roommates also seem quite busy with summer school and fieldwork, and acquaintances I’ve made at church were off on vacation this past weekend. On many occasions, I’ve had to adjust my expectation of instant community at “the snap of the fingers”, like Starbucks instant coffee. It may sound good, but won’t be nearly as savory as taking the time and persistence to develop meaningful relationships. I have to think of this as a stretching experience in learning to enjoy some quality solo time for a bit.
If you’re going through a similar experience in a new social context, whether that be trying a new church, going to a new intramural club, or joining a community engaging in like-minded interests, stick it out! And if you’re on the other side of the coin, and see new faces in a place you call home, reach out!
Making friends who know you well just takes time. Patience is, indubitably, a virtue.
Updates to come on the Oregon front.