I started my freshman year of college this week. If I were asked to sum up my experience thus far in three words, I would say — stressful, confusing, and exciting. I was not prepared in any way, shape, or form, mentally or physically to go to college. Up until the week before my move-in day, I didn't have any dorm necessities or decorations, didn't have any textbooks or required materials for my classes, and was unsure about move-in procedures and coronavirus restraints.
Normally I would consider myself an organized, disciplined person. However my summer was so fun, I love my friends tremendously, and I refused to even think about leaving my family or my pets. Because of this, I was dreading the day I would have to pack up and leave everything I knew for an unknown place accompanied by countless uncertainties.
New things I did this week: moved out of my childhood home, attended my first college class, moved in with a roommate, used a communal shower, wore a mask to class.
Going to college is already a difficult and stressful change, but going to college during a global pandemic is a whole different level of distress. No football games, masks worn at all times except while showering or eating, social distancing in classrooms, zoom calls, online assignments, no guests, and so many other restrictions that I can't help but think are negatively impacting my experience as a college freshman.
Even though it's easy to believe that outside forces are plotting against us and that we should just give up all hope, I am still convinced that I can make my first year at college a memorable experience. Despite the restrictions, I still have the opportunity to make new friends, learn essential life lessons, and maybe even find love.
I'm an 18-year-old girl navigating her way through her freshman year of college amidst the spread of a deadly virus. I may not have all the answers but I do know that a positive attitude and a little determination can make or break your life experiences, including the stressful transition to college life.