Like every prospective college student, I was dying to move in and grind towards my future. I was excited to make new friends, join clubs, get a job, and finally find meaning in all of the courses succeeding high school. Plus, I was admitted to a basketball school! What could go wrong?
I never expected a family emergency to force me to defer my Early Action admission. I already had all my bags packed by July. All of my dorm decorations were stored safely in my basement. I had stocked up on Nova gear, water cases, and snacks. I was more than ready to go...until the end of August hit. I had no choice but to call the Admissions Office and ask to defer. The staff were so kind and understanding with my situation and eagerly helped me organize for my January admission, but I felt hopeless.
What's a college student to do without college?
I spent all of the first semester working. While my new Nova friends were attending basketball games and parties, I was stuck at home with no agenda besides my full-time job. I felt a circumstantial depression looming. Sure, I hadn't lost my actual admission to Villanova, but I still felt like I was in a rut for about five months. Some weekends I would take the 45 minute drive up to campus and experience the night life, but by the time I got home I was itching to go back. I even yearned for classes, homework, an essay...SOMETHING! The cabin fever set in.
January rolled around wayyy slower than a blink of an eye. I basically had to blow the dust off my college bags, but I felt the same excitement I had in August. As soon as I stepped on campus, just like I had during my sophomore year in high school, I felt at home.
The transition was seamless in technical areas, but I still felt out of place. Other girls on campus already had their cliques, and I felt obligated to socialize. I had no trouble starting classes, but I had to answer ice breakers about being a late starter. People wondered if I had started at a different college (I hadn't) or if I was studying abroad (nope). I was simply a working girl. I didn't know my way around nor did I understand campus slang, so I had to bother my poor roommate with all my questions. It took me a while to figure out all the campus apps. I didn't even understand the basketball lottery. I felt like maybe college wasn't for me and I would never find my way.
The first two weeks of school were spent in my dorm and at work. I didn't socialize because I didn't want to intrude on others' friend groups. I loved my school, but hated not having any friends from an orientation group or the like.
Something changed by the third week. I began making friends with upperclassmen at my job. My roommate took me out and introduced me at functions. I went to Spit for a lot of my meals and struck up conversations with girls following me on Instagram. I was invited to basketball games both at the Wells Fargo Center and the Finn. Classmates began hanging out with me outside of group projects. The social anxiety began to disappear!
I finally found my spot at Villanova. I realized that you shouldn't seek out happiness so prematurely and instead allow it to come to you quietly. I found a well-rounded group of girls, however small our group may be, but that doesn't discourage me from pushing myself past my comfort zone and going out by myself. I found more confidence in talking to new people, because I knew that's what I needed as the new girl. I'm so grateful for having deferred my admission to prosper in the opportunities I've received as of yet. Despite this being my first semester, I've never felt so motivated to overload next year and get study-abroad information. I really feel at home on campus and couldn't imagine it any other way.