I’ll never forget my first week on campus, walking toward the Pryz (our student center), hearing loud music and people cheering. I remember thinking, “What am I getting myself into?” At times during orientation, you feel silly playing ice breakers and being forced to play games with strangers, but it’s an experience. That is what college is all about…crazy, beautiful, and weird experiences you only get to have during this one prime time in your life. As I look back on my time at Catholic, here is my advice: Enjoy meeting everyone, go to all the events, stay up late, and don’t look back.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
Orientation week is hard to describe, from saying goodbye to your parents to late night breakfast and Play Fair to the many meetings getting you ready for what lies ahead. Whether you’re the most outgoing person in the room or would rather spend your days sitting alone in your dorm watching Netflix, take it all in. Believe me, you’re going to be a senior like me in a blink of an eye feeling like freshman year was actually 10 years ago. Things might sound cheesy or weird but introduce yourself to as many people and go to as many events as you can. College is a place where one can reinvent themselves from who they were in high school or come out of their shell or discover who they really are. What I regret most is not joining clubs I thought sounded interesting or getting more involved early on because there might come a time you’re in a routine and ask yourself where do I go from here?
Friends will come and go but that’s okay.
Note that it’s ok if people you were friends with first semester aren’t as close to you spring semester. Friend groups are forever changing. People want to branch out and find out who else might be out there, but that doesn’t mean in the future those relationships might not go back to how they once were. I truly believe that things happen for a reason, those reasons might present themselves clearly to you or maybe you’ll never understand why, but take comfort in knowing that maybe, just maybe it’s part of a higher plan. There will 100% be ups and downs but that only helps you grow as young adults and be even more ready for the “real” world. You might not like how things are going your first semester, but give second semester a chance and you might not ever look back.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
I laugh at things now that I thought were tragic my freshman year. How stupid and trivial some situations were, but those situations made me into the adult I am today and I don’t regret a single thing. You’ll laugh at the experiences you had, the moments you shared with total strangers and the 18-19 year old selves you once were. I wish I could go back even for a day to the first week of college….so please, for me, take lots of pictures, upload them all on Facebook because like me you’re going to want to look back on that crazy, beautiful time called Freshman year.
Jacqueline is a senior Media and Communications Studies major in the School of Arts and Sciences. She’s from Leonardo, NJ. Jacqueline is looking forward to her senior year at Catholic University, but she’s also looking forward to when she replaces David Muir on World News Tonight.