The Freshman Files: Hello and Goodbye

A new edition to “The Quadrangle” this semester, “The Freshman Files” weekly column will document one student’s experiences through the trials and tribulations of freshman year. Laugh, cry, and relate as we chronicle the ups and downs, twist and turns, failures and successes that the next nine months have to offer.

FEATURES - Freshman Files 1

In the madness that stems from leaving the nest for the first time, there is barely a moment to think about what truly awaits us—or how we feel about it.

There seems to always be more things to buy, more clothes to pack and more friends to say goodbye and good luck to. Then suddenly the last suitcase is zipped and emotions start to surface— anxiety, worry, excitement, confusion and relief for the freedom that college has to offer leaves you light-headed.

When you’re really honest with yourself, leaving for college is terrifying. In the span of one day we’re expected to say goodbye to our comfortable lives and say hello to sharing rooms with strangers, intimidating classes and being on our own for the first time. Suddenly “home” becomes a campus filled with thousands of people you’ve never met. When you want to eat, you have to navigate a maze of kids with trays and endless rows of options. You have to do your own laundry.

Like I said, college is terrifying—and most of us don’t even have to deal with the communal bathroom situation.

But the part that frightens me the most is also what excites me the most: the unknown. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next month or year or four years—no one does. It’s as much of a much of a mystery as the city that surrounds us. But I do know this; it’s going to be extraordinary. It will change the way we think and the way we see the world and the people around us. Our hopes and dreams will inevitably change. We’ll learn new things and meet new people and make new friends. These next four years will be life altering. There’s no way around it.

Right about now you’re probably thinking, sure, it all looks great on paper, but what about my roommate and that public speaking class and my first game? Because, as monumental as it all sounds, it’s still scary.

As for me, I’m going to let the excitement overpower the fear. What we have ahead of us now is a rare opportunity to start over, to no longer be defined by the labels appointed to us during high school. It’s time to start defining for ourselves who we are and who we want to be. Think about it—how often does a chance like this come around?

Sure, I’m going to miss my family, my friends and my queen-size bed. But if we don’t leave our comfort zone now, who knows what we’ll miss out on! So breathe easy, give into the excitement, explore the world, and remember: we’re Jaspers now.