Living the ‘high life’: Freshman woes teach more than expected

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Last week my sister moved in to college and it made me think of how much things have changed since I moved into Finegan Hall freshman year.
She’s got a dinky little room with herself and two roommates crammed into it. Barely enough room to breathe compared to the room I had in Finegan.
Anyways, she’s going through a lot of the same growing pains that many freshmen do. She misses home, she misses her old friends and, of course, she misses air conditioning. I’m hoping she’s being open-minded, and for the most part, she has been so far.
She’s at least been forcing herself to suffer through all the painfully awkward freshman ice-breakers. As cringe-worthy as they can sometimes be, it’s one way I met a lot of my closest friends on campus.
Even though they turned out to be great opportunities, I had to push myself to do things like that too. Moving away from home for the first time and basically having to create a whole new life for myself 2 1/2 hours away was slightly terrifying at times.
Honestly, part of me wasn’t even motivated to make new friends because I’d had the same group of close friends at home for several years. I’d lived a comfortable, mostly predictable life throughout high school and now had to start all over.
I realize now that those fears and the mindset I had were a little ridiculous.
Today I can say that many of the people I’ve met here have become a big part of my life and I couldn’t be more thankful for that. Adjusting to living away from home wasn’t as daunting as I’d imagined it either.
Now, I’m a junior and I live in a big, swanky apartment that’s covered in thrift store art and illuminated by a leg lamp. You could say I’m living the high life.
I’ve cruelly reminded my sister that my thermostat goes all the way down to 54 degrees if you want it to.
I also have this fancy job working for the school newspaper this year and am part of clubs that I didn’t even know existed freshman year.
The point is, two years ago, I didn’t know a soul here but over time I met a lot of different people and things gradually began to feel more like a home.
It’s never easy to go through a serious change. Moving away to college was the biggest change I’ve had to go through in my life so far.
I don’t think my experience will make future changes any easier; in fact, they’ll probably be more difficult. But now I at least have the confidence to have an open mind and a positive perspective when I graduate and go through the next big change in my life. Somehow through the ups and downs things will work out.
So to any freshman or transfer student who is still struggling to meet new people and adjust to living in a new place, just give it some time.
Even if you have to wake up in a puddle of your own sweat in a dorm room this year or still haven’t quite mastered how to do your laundry without your mom’s help, embrace being out of your comfort zone.

KYLE JOSEPH
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