Been There, Done That
Published: Friday, June 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
I know what you’re thinking: this is a huge campus, you’ll never find your way around, you will never make friends in this place, and living with a roommate is going to be impossible.
Take a deep breath and calm down. If you made it to orientation, you’re heading in the right direction. I just finished my freshman year and if I survived, so can you.
I don’t know anybody who was as nervous about going away to school as I was. I had gone to sleep away camp before, so being away from home wasn’t my problem. My problem was making friends.
I was scared that nobody would like me. I had the fear of not belonging.
I opted to become part of the UB Honors College because I had been an honors girl my entire life. I was worried that I would find only science majors, or people who only played World of Warcraft and never left their room. I was worried that I wouldn’t find anybody like me and that I wouldn’t find a place for me.
Looking back, that was ridiculous.
My first day, I made friends with the people in my hall because they were the only people I had met. That night we gathered in the lounge. More people kept showing up to hang out because they heard us loudly talking about Harry Potter and the books we had read over the summer. Pretty soon there was a group of about 30 people and I was able to relax.
I didn’t know it then, but amongst those 30 honors kids was my first love, my best friend, the girl I would grow to call my mother, and people that nine months later I couldn’t imagine my life without.
The same fate may well await you.
Coming into college, I thought I was here for the grades, to learn about subjects that would help in my future. Sure, I would have some good times along the way, but I never knew they would be so amazing.
Throughout my freshman year I accomplished so much more than I ever thought I was capable of. I joined The Spectrum as a staff writer and was eventually promoted to senior editor after the year, I got more drunk than I ever thought was would, I went to too many frat parties, I experienced a 2 a.m. fire alarm, I had a foreign professor who I couldn’t understand, I had my first kiss (seriously), I had my first boyfriend, I got a 3.7 GPA, I participated in Habitat for Humanity, I met people with majors I never knew existed, I met Craig Robinson, I skipped classes, I pulled all-nighters, and I had my heart broken.
You will, too.
I know this seems like a gigantic school with 20,000 undergrads alone, and it may seem as if you are just a number. But you’re not. You are a person with goals and aspirations, and you will accomplish great things in your time here.
Who cares if your roommate smells like cheese, or if her boyfriend is always sleeping over (or worse, her mom), and who cares if the first few people you meet don’t end up your lifelong friends? Who cares if you switch your major six times in the first month, or if you join every club you see but never attend the meetings? You will find a niche here and you will grow to love college.
If I could offer some advice for you freshmen, it’s to take lots of pictures. Make sure you capture and enjoy every moment, because you may think you have a lot of time, but your first two semesters will fly by.