Christopher Dingman, '98
"What I'm most concerned about in the world is that we will become more concerned with outdoing or impressing the people around us than we will with loving them well."
The most important thing I learned at FCS is closely tied to the faculty member who had the most lasting impact on me: Jane Manring. As an introverted, sometimes awkward, and sometimes angry third-grader, I once waited outside the bathroom door with my foot outstretched and tripped up two classmates. I remember Jane sitting me down in her office and not only telling me that my behavior needed to stop, but also that she cared about me and wanted to know what might be causing me to act out. We talked about things that made me uncomfortable, like my feelings of being an outcast, and she helped me find other outlets—I remember crushing a lot of clay between my hands, which was surprisingly cathartic.
Since then, I've developed a much more positive outlook and built a great number of amazing friendships. When I'm not working or studying philosophy or Japanese, you'll likely find me spending time with a friend. My life certainly wouldn't be what it is now without the friends I've made along the way. What I'm most concerned about in the world is that we will become more concerned with outdoing or impressing the people around us than we will with loving them well. If I could give my younger self advice, I would tell myself the same thing I need to remind myself to do even now: Worry less about what other people think of you, and worry more about other people.
Berkelee College of Music, Bachelor of Music