JOSEPH V. CUSMANO
College Is Tough. Take It From A Senior;
You’re Going To Be Okay.
1. Your Interests Will Change And So Will Your Friends.
Relationships, especially friendships, are supposed to be natural.
Leaving old friends at home and making new ones at Manhattan College is nothing to be afraid of. Exploring majors and interests that you may not have even known about will expose you to new ideas and new people. Even in the midst of senior year, I’ve found that I’ve met a whole bunch of people that I wish I had met earlier. I’ve even lost contact with some friends from freshman year. It’s nothing to stress about.
Whether you’re a college student, working full-time or figuring it all out, making a friend in your late teens/early twenties is no easy task. There is a ton of social pressure, especially on a collegiate campus to “fit in,” be social and (arguably) most importantly, make genuine, lasting friendships. Regardless, interests and friends will come and go but memories will always remain.
2. You Will [Hopefully] Learn The Value Of A Dollar.
Nothing makes you grow up like living in New York City.
At some point in your college career you may realize that you’ve spent more money on beer than textbooks and your pockets are a little tight. To say the least, almost every college student at some point can recall a time when their wallets were light, or at least while they waited for Mom and Dad to throw some money in their account. Do yourself a favor and don’t be too indulgent, because once spring semester’s here, you’re going to wish you had saved.
But there’s more than learning that you can’t buy the 12 pack of beer or the $4 slice of pizza you craved. Daily activities such as riding the subway and walking around the street, one learns pretty quickly that even when eating ramen, somebody, somewhere is always struggling much worse than you are during that long weekend when you were short on cash.
3. Your Family Will Automatically Become More Important.
For most of us, we spent 18 years or so learning and living with the same people everyday. Despite the frequency of familial visits, you’re not under “their roof” anymore. So when you return home, even if your room is slowly turning into storage (thanks, Mom…), you’ll realize at some point during your freshman year just how much your family means to you.
Each visit becomes a little more exciting. When you see somebody almost everyday for your entire life, you can imagine how exciting it is to see him or her after a month or two has passed by.
When your family’s in town, you’ll drop everything you’re doing. There’s nothing better than a free meal (because they’re going to take you for dinner, right?) and catching up on the latest from home.
This one’s tricky. Holidays are great. Trust me, there’s nothing like winter break. An ample amount of time to have a well deserved break from academics, seeing old friends from home and catching up on their semesters, parties, classes, etc. It’s a blast.
But holidays with family are a whole different ballgame. While I cannot get into grave details, I can say that holidays and holiday parties spent with family will include but are not limited to:
-The can I or can I not drink in front of my parent’s debate.
-Questions from relatives usually about [the absence of, for most of us…] a boyfriend or girlfriend.
-Sentimental beats materialistic every time. (I’m talking gifts here, people!)
At the end of the day, there is nothing more important than your family, and sometimes, it takes being away from the people you love to realize just how much you love them.
4. There Is Nothing Stronger Than A Roommate Bond.
Whether you’re at each other’s throats, eating in the dining hall, or simply hanging out it in the room, there is nothing stronger than a bond between roommates. Like most, I, too, was placed with a random roommate freshman year and it could not have worked out better. We roomed together for a total of three years and I can easily say my roommate is one of my best friends.
If it’s not your roommate, if may be a suitemate, somebody down the hall or maybe a friend from a class. Nonetheless, some of the most important and longest lasting relationships that you will have in your life can be and will be found and formed during your freshman year.
5. You [willingly] will step out of your comfort zone; Again and again and again
Academically, socially, physically, etc. – you will most definitely leave your comfort zone a number of times during freshman year. There’s nothing wrong with being pushed to the limits and challenging yourself, if it’s for the right reasons. Keep your long-term best interests in mind as you try and navigate freshman year.
Something may seem like it’s not your cup of tea but a lot of times you’re going to have to do things that you may not want to. Whether it’s a research paper that you never thought could be written, traveling on the subway for the first time alone, joining a club or even going to the gym, college is full of social situations that could potentially ask you to leave your comfort zone.
If there is one thing I’m sure of it’s this: once you’ve been pushed a few times by others you’ll soon enough begin to do it on your own.
At the collegiate level, when you work hard to achieve something and you meet a major goal that you had set for yourself; it’s these moments of growth, maturity, realization and accomplishment, all meshed together in one, that students pay tens of thousands of dollars a year to experience.
Hint: The more you push yourself, the more bang you’ll get for your buck.