Welcome to College: Part 1

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Transitioning to College

My pre-college reflection reads like it was written ages ago, when in reality I penned this angsty train-of-thought only a few weeks ago.  Much has changed since then. I’ve made it through orientation week, and am highly anticipating the start of classes.

Orientation has left me debilitated; I’ve not drunk much water, nor eaten much healthy food, nor gotten much sleep. However, it’s the most fun I’ve had in a while, and I know that people will start to settle down as classes ramp up, and I will fall into some sort of routine. I don’t know what to do with all of this freedom!

I eat on a meal plan, I shower in the company of others, and I live with a roommate. What a change from the lifestyle I’d adopted over my summer. I find myself wondering if I need to make some small talk, or if silences here and there are completely okay (they most likely are).

Here I am free to make my own decisions, spend my free time as I like, and pick which classes interest me. I am much more motivated to learn, now that I have a say in which classes I take.

High school Catherine was quite the introvert; lots of people undoubtedly thought I was weird. I was. That’s okay. I know that a lot of people have started college with the intention of abandoning their high school self, and some plan to stay the same. I think I’ve been lurking in the middle, making a conscious effort to be more outgoing and outspoken, an experience that I’ve greatly enjoyed.

First impressions, as everyone is aware, are powerful, but are we aware of how misleading they can be? So many people trying to be someone they aren’t, and I have no doubt that the amount of people who have been to parties this week has been massively inflated by people attempting to make friends and seem cool. I respect it; I’ve done it.

But people here are also less afraid to walk alone, eat alone, and I love that. We all have places to be! Campus is huge! The freshman are always looking to travel in packs, but will eventually learn how this thing called college is supposed to happen.

The first few days of orientation, we were all required to wear purple shirts, though by Thursday, we’d all started dressing regularly, and it became more difficult to distinguish freshman from older students, though I’m sure we all still looked pretty confused as we grasped a map, walking up and down the main road.

Every freshman/transfer student/gap year student shares a collective nervousness about a new setting where they don’t know lots of people. I don’t care how a person acts. Everyone feels antsy. We just deal with our feelings differently. At the end of the day, nobody really knows what they’re doing.

Read the rest on Never Stationary.

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