“When I was younger, I was very socially awkward and introverted,” says Gabriel Wilson, Germanna student and secretary of the Student Government Association. “I think the fact that I was homeschooled played a huge part in that.”
A homeschooled student for the majority of his educational career, Gabriel faced a major culture shock when he got to Germanna.
“Once I got here, I was determined to make up for lost time. I wanted to find that sense of community and connect with other people. I had always wondered what it would be like to be super social, so I made that my reality.”
A year into his college journey, Gabriel has found his voice at Germanna.
Going from socially awkward to social butterfly was not an easy task for Gabriel, as he wasn’t accustomed to putting himself out there. But he knew that in order to make those connections he’d always wanted, he would have to put in the work.
“I put myself in fairly uncomfortable situations in order to make friends,” says Gabriel. “In my first few weeks at Germanna, I made myself walk up to strangers, introduce myself, and start a conversation.”
Though a seemingly daunting task, Gabriel was up for the challenge. And in his first semester at Germanna, he made dozens of connections with students, staff, and faculty. This allowed him to familiarize himself with more people on campus and start to build his own personal network.
Heading into his second year at Germanna, Gabriel knew he wanted to continue meeting new people and pushing past his comfort zone. He decided to involve himself in Germanna Student Life, running for a leadership position in the Student Government Association.
“I wanted to join SGA because I knew it would give me the opportunity to interact with different people,” Gabriel says. “The SGA is always on campus participating in events, and I wanted to be a part of that.”
Gabriel is serving as the SGA’s secretary for the 2023-2024 school year, and he looks forward to forging new connections, staying involved at the College, and representing the student body.
He attributes his newfound confidence and extroverted nature to his time at Germanna, which, for him, comes as a shock.
“Before coming to Germanna, I had no idea what to expect,” says Gabriel. “I didn’t know much about Germanna before I applied, so I had a lot of pre-conceived notions of what it would be like just based off of the community college stigma.”
But he applied anyway because of the price and its close proximity to his home. “It’s been better than I could’ve ever imagined,” he says. Germanna has become a place where Gabriel not only attends class, but where he comes to socialize and interact with the diverse student body.
The first in his family to receive a college education, Gabriel looks forward to graduating and moving on to the next step of his educational journey. In the future, he hopes to pursue a career as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. He sees this as the perfect path since he finds it gratifying to listen to and help others.