The summer before my freshman year at Gannon University was easily the most memorable I’ve ever had. Graduating from high school the first week of June was a huge relief considering I didn’t particularly enjoy the previous four years at an all-boys private school. Having to wear a shirt and tie every day had gotten pretty old to say the least, and unless by some miracle I achieve my dream of playing for the New York Yankees in the future, I really don’t plan on shaving on a daily basis ever again.
I was lucky enough to have a great group of friends by my side that at least made those years bearable. Between about a dozen graduation parties, golfing together at least once a week and driving five hours away to live in a tent for a weekend and see the Dave Matthews Band, I took away a lot of good memories from that summer following senior year.
The only bad thing was that it made my biggest fear of going to college even worse: growing apart from those friends that I’d spent the past several years with who knew me so well.
Of course, I thought it was up to me to put in the effort to save those friendships, which only clouded the open mind I was supposed to be taking with me to Erie. To be completely honest, the way I thought of it was that I’d make some relatively good friends at college to spend the school year with, but all my really good friends would be back home.
I’m sure there are others who are going into their first year of college thinking the same thing, so I’ll be frank about it: you’re wrong. You’ll be surprised at how close you become with people you meet in college.
Going to all the cheesy – and I’m talking even cheesier than this article – Freshman Orientation activities is where I met a lot of my first friends at Gannon, and through them I met a lot more. Yeah, you’re not going to like everyone you meet, but that’s why taking advantage of these opportunities is so important.
You get to meet many, many people in a short amount of time and a simple conversation can lead to you realizing you have a lot in common with someone you may not have approached outside of an awkward freshman event at a Presque Isle beach.
Living in the same building with a bunch of your peers really doesn’t give you much of a choice, either. When you live and sleep on the same floor and in the same room as others, you get to know them pretty well. Sometimes, by accident, a little too well. Freshman year dorm living may not be the most luxurious, but it’s a lot of fun.
Anyways, from my experience, it isn’t difficult to stay in touch with friends who are meant to be a part of your life after high school graduation. They’ll still be there. A lot of others will drift away, but you’ll make up for it and then some in college.
My roommates and close friends at Gannon have become like a family away from home. It’s hard not to feel that way when you spend every day with them and you go through each other’s highs and lows together. I couldn’t be more thankful for how wrong my expectations were before moving into Finegan Hall three years ago, and I plan to make the most of my last year here with all of those who have made this experience so rewarding.