Good morning/afternoon! (Please enjoy my classic orientation picture. Thanks again, Mom.)
This post has undoubtedly been the trickiest to write thus far. I’m fully aware that this is only my third blog post ever, but listen, the past two have been a breeze. It’s only tricky in that I didn’t know exactly what to cover. My orientation was on the 9th and 10th of last month, so I considered writing about that. Honestly, it would’ve given me a pretty good post. I could go into all of the different activities that we did, talk about the people I met, and how scheduling went. I mean, I did enjoy myself and learned a lot, but that’s not interesting enough read about, right? It’s only somewhat interesting to actually write. I thought we could just chat, one-one-one – except we’ll have a very one-sided conversation here, like when an adult says they want to talk with you, and then they take up 90% of the conversation. Yeah, this is how that’s gonna go (unless you leave some comments! Nudge nudge). Instead, I’m going to reflect on what orientation made me realize, and you’re going to hopefully listen! Here we go.
Starting college is kind of scary. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun; exciting; and all of that jazz, but it’s also a tad terrifying when you think of it. I understand that there are some people out there that don’t feel the same way as I do. They welcome the change with open arms, and they’re more than ready to bid their hometowns goodbye. (Obviously the childhoods of these extreme extroverts lacked a proper homemade food and a fluffy dog at home). However, I also know that that’s not everyone. This post is for you, my “not everyone” crew.
You see, when I was a kid, my mom offered to sign me up for countless clubs and sports teams. I had a rule though, I wouldn’t go unless I knew at least one person participating. I needed some sense of familiarity before I threw myself into something new. As I grew up, I realized how unreasonable that was (and my younger sister was sick of me dragging her to events). I dropped my rule and tried to branch out. I met new people and began volunteering to join clubs before I knew if any of my friends were going to be there. Having chucked my childhood rule out the window, I felt comfortable and confident enough to choose any university that I wanted. However, it wasn’t until one week before move in that I started feeling like my eight-year-old self again. I’ve been working to accept the nerves that come with entering a situation where you know absolutely no one.
When my high school friends used to talk about college, they always mentioned it with the whole, “I’m so excited to start a new chapter of my life!” or “It’s so good to get away from our community!” attitude. No one ever talked about being nervous, scared, or anxious about all of the new changes. I understand that it’s probably a taboo thing to talk about, like when someone asks you how you are doing – and literally no matter how you’re feeling, you reply with something like “I’m good, thanks!” I think it all deserves to be recognized, though: the good and the bad. No one really prepares you for when your high school friends call you up to tell you how much their first week of college sucked. No one prepares you for how different a FaceTime call from your boyfriend is in place of a weekly date night. No one prepares you for the sadness you feel at night sometimes when you miss your bed back home or you miss your parents or your siblings or simply just the comfort that comes with familiarity. I LOVE familiarity, but I also love change. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that, and this first month is one of those times. If this happens to some of y’all, just remember to keep your eye on the prize: a close-knit group of friends, straight As, and a paid intership by junior year (kidding). The prize is obviously the degree, but if you make friends and join clubs along the way there, that’s great too. I’ll leave you with a quote that’s kind of stuck with me since last year, “A comfortable place is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” Happy growing everyone (I hope you all cringed at that part.)