I am a firm believer that if you give people a chance, they can change your life forever; good or bad. Yet, I like to think that everyone in life is in my life for a reason. Whether it’s to test my boundaries or comfort me after I failed to cross those same boundaries. While I thoroughly enjoy laying in my bed watching Netflix while the fan blows on my feet causing my whole body to cool down oh-so calmly, I know it’s important for me to get out and live. On the day before I moved onto campus, my mom quoted someone very special in her life and one who left her with words she’d never forget and now I won’t either; “Life is not a spectator sport.” When she said this, she quoted her former UMass marching band director, George Parks. From day one on campus, those six words have been glued into my brain. I wanted to sleep more this morning, but if I did I wouldn’t have increased my comfort with my roommates without going to breakfast together (Or created a laughable memory when I accidentally flashed one of my roommates as she walked back into the dorm when I was changing bras...Good morning!) Instead of isolating myself to the dorm and feeling sad and insecure, I made plans with some familiar friends. Mo, Fran, and I all went to get smoothies with some high school buddies and then all went to check out the new pool; it was amazing! I tell you though, it was like a scene out of a cheesy college film; barbie girls in sparkly bikinis and sexy guys playing football in the water (But they played football with the little boys and it was adorable!). Yet, everyone was so nice and even though for a few moments I felt bad about my body and my one piece bathing suit, when I talked to people in passing or if they asked if they could lay their towels next to us, they were so nice. I’m apologetic that I passed judgement upon people who are attractive because I assumed those people must know their own beauty and feel some sort of arrogant confidence; not all of them do. Definitely some, but not all. Everyday I start to notice new people, and realize that we truly are all different and beautiful in diverse ways. Being around new people while catching up with old friends was comforting to not feel so alone for a while. The boy thing will stay take some work because I still feel super insecure when it comes to them but, I’m working on it one day at a time. Walking really helps, despite the chaffing. Movement helps me to not think so hard about that stuff; Note to self :)

To continue my journey at UNH, my roommates and I took advantage of the social hotline that is “The Jukebox.” That night I put on my comfy, black maxi dress that makes me feel good (not to mention I can wear extra long spandex to cover my irritating chafing) and basically just finally felt immersed in the UNH culture. We got free condoms, flyers to join acapella and band groups, and I got a rose. Those who had the willpower to stay up a bit later and watch Mike Super, the magician and mentalist, were in for a treat. As a natural born Murphy, it’s easy for me to enjoy things like magic shows and get excited over buying a losing lottery ticket because more often than not I am cursed with “Murphy’s Law.” Yet, tonight the spirits were on my side. Mike asked if he could “borrow me”...to bring me on stage he meant. He whisked me down the aisle towards the center stage of the Granite State Room where he levitated a tissue paper rose, light it on fire and make it disappear, and then give me a real rose. I wish to keep all of his tricks a secret, though he did not tell me to do so; I promise. I’m thankful to have seen the show, let alone be a part of it. Mike is an amazing performer and is worth seeing. But the memories don’t stop there.

Just when life starts to get good, it decides to throw you a curveball. I’m not saying my whole world has already begun to crumble beneath me, I’m saying I hit a bump in the road today. For the most part, all went well on the first day of my college classes. I only had two classes; Philosophy 401 at 8am and Math 420 at 2pm. I got breakfast with another high school buddy and we walked to our classes together, and again it was nice to see a smiling familiar face, just like on the first day of school back home. My philosophy class is small compared to the lecture hall my math class is in; it reminded me of Souhegan. My professor Bill Seeley is just eccentric enough to keep things interesting. Plus, he likes to keep the class brief. After Philosophy, I headed back to my room to change and actually ended up taking my very first collegiate nap :) It was definitely worth it. I got up and walked main street for a bit and got yet another delicious Bermuda Bliss smoothie (There goes $20 in three days…) and picked up my first book I needed for Philosophy class. I went over to Smith Hall where the counseling center is and made my initial appointment; I’m going to need them. Afterwards, I brought my smoothie to one of my favorite spots on campus that I’ve discovered, the front lawn of the Paul College of Business. I finally got a chance to call mom and we talked for a little while before she convinced me to get lunch and carry on moving and living my day. She knows I’m struggling but she and I both also know that I’m going to be okay.

As each day passes, it gets a little easier. One night, a bunch of us from Souhegan got dinner at Stillings hall and the food was amazing! Then we toured some of each other’s dorms and then went to Gibbs hall to get a volleyball game going, but from the start I felt uncomfortable. I get nervous around new people when we play sports especially if I find a cute boy...and at college they’re crawling everywhere. My head wasn’t really into it, neither was my body. My insecurities once again took over just enough to make me feel small. I did play, and get the ball when I could but, often another person would snag it from me before I had the chance. So, I did what I could do; walk away. I wasn’t having much fun, why should I stay and feel miserable? I don’t think any of them meant to make me feel that way, but it sure hurt a little as more people showed up and it was really easy for me to just go off sides and walk away. But, I didn’t let that stop me from picking myself up the next morning to keep trying. I tried my first cycling class and boy did I sweat! I needed a bucket more than a towel. I loved moving again and the feeling afterwards that I did something good for myself. I struggled to not compare myself to the other girls in the class but, when I looked in the mirror I remembered being with my teammates during my high school rowing seasons and my family who’s back home supporting me and loving me each day; I felt stronger. Hopefully that same feeling will show up soon when collegiate rowing begins.

My level of comfort with my new home is increasing, and while that will still require some more time, these first few days were great days to be a UNH Wildcat.