Freshman Year Uncertainty

Freshman Year Uncertainty

How I am dealing with the adjustment to college.
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In a recent nostalgia-filled email to my high school music teacher, I outlined my recent feelings regarding my first few weeks of college in a sentence. I said, “I miss Mount and the certainty I had going to school every day, whereas here it is constant uncertainty.”

I graduated in June from a Catholic, independent, private school in New Jersey populated by 370 high school girls. I am “one of those”, as many people I have met on Villanova University’s campus have stereotyped me. Four years in an all-girls school had me accustomed to certain things: my uniform, the layout of campus, what to do in my free time, my favorite professors, and most obviously, my friends.

So, as I start all over again, I don’t even know where to begin. I cannot remember how I got to where I was in high school. I only see the drastic contrast between senior year and now. I knew where I stood with practically everyone in the school. I knew the best angle for an Instagram-worthy bell tower picture. I knew what to expect from my teachers, almost all of whom I had been taught by before. I knew which songs I would likely sing during our first school liturgy in September, and, most importantly, I knew the Alma Mater by heart.

I had a lot of certainty. Of course I acquired that over the span of my four years, and not in the first two weeks. But the uncertainty of being in a brand new space with an undergraduate population that’s more than 15 times the population of my high school is slightly overwhelming.

There’s the uncertainty of landscape: I don’t feel lost, but I am definitely more disoriented than 75% of the people here. I’ve been up and down the wrong stairwells looking for meeting rooms and my Latin class. I don’t know where the best place for me to study is. I haven’t quite adjusted myself to the constant changing flow of people around me and I still haven’t mapped out the quickest way to get from class to class.

There’s the uncertainty of people. I can text friends from home and say, “Hey, what’s up? Where are you?” or “What’s going on?” and get a normal response. No one thinks I’m being overbearing or clingy or aggressive. But can I do that with brand new friends? And even more, can I even put the label of “friend” on someone yet? To me there are so many unanswered questions like this. I don’t know where I stand in people’s lives this early on, which is drastically different than knowing my exact place with everyone around me just last month.

There’s the uncertainty of future. This is something I figure will never go away. How do I progress from here? Where am I going? What am I going to be like looking ahead? I know where I am headed in an academic sense, but I have no direction when it comes to things that could change at any point in time. I don’t know what I can commit my time to, and what is going to be too overwhelming. I have yet to figure out a routine for this semester, and it’s likely that as soon as I figure that out, a new semester will be beginning and I will head straight back to square one.

And finally, I find myself being uncertain of my current situation, as well. I don’t know when or where to draw the line between “Everyone feels like this at the beginning of college” and “I’ve made the wrong decision and I am very uncomfortable.”

I am learning, I guess.

I can’t imagine being a freshman and not feeling this uncertainty; this weighing down of feeling out of place. I think the best advice that I can give myself is to power through until I find a place where I feel at home.

Cover Image Credit: Original image, Annie Condodina

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8 Things Your RA Wants You to Know

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Moving into a dorm your first year of college can be very intimidating. You've seen the movies, you've talked to your older friends, but you're still a little nervous. We all were a little nervous moving in our first year, anyone who says otherwise is lying. The movies aren't entirely accurate, especially when it comes to the RAs. Here's a list to help guide you a little when moving into a residence hall your freshman year, and here's exactly what to expect from your RA.

These are seriously helpful hints from a previous RA, if you know these things going in your freshman year in the dorms will be a breeze when it comes to RAs. Read the list and dominate your freshman year, because these are the things your RA wish you knew.

1. We are friendly, therefore we love friendly people.

Don't even pretend like you're too cool for your RA because that will either make them completely resent you or try way too hard to get you to open up. I can tell you right now that those are two things you definitely don't want. Don't be afraid to say hi or go out of your way to introduce yourself, we like that.

2. Don't kiss up.

No one likes a kiss up, not even your RA. If you try kissing up chances are we are just going to be slightly annoyed and slightly suspicious of you for the rest of the year.

3. Be smart.

Here's the catch to RAs: they are there to make sure you follow all the rules of the hall. We know you're going to go out and do things you're probably not old enough to do, but be smart about it. Don't drink in the halls, especially if you're not even legal to drink. Don't go out and get wasted only to come back and trash the halls. You can go out and do your own thing, and as long as you don't cause any problems throughout the hall then you won't get in any trouble.

4. We want you to come to events.

We put on these events specifically for you, so when you don't come it sucks for us. Don't be afraid to just stop by for the food, because we will honestly be happy to see you.

5. We aren't stupid.

We know when you're trying to get on our good side so we won't get you in trouble, we know when you're drunk, we know when you're doing things you shouldn't be doing. We are simply RAs, we aren't stupid.

6. We are students too.

We are there to help you adjust to college, it's literally our job. So don't be afraid to reach out, we're students too, we know what the college transition is like and we are there to help you.

7. Don't you dare turn to passive-aggression.

Being passive aggressive will solve exactly zero of your problems. Don't be passive aggressive to your roommate, to your neighbor, or even to the people that live down the hall.

8. We aren't there to spite you.

We are just doing our job, we aren't trying to annoy you or trying to get you in trouble. So don't be upset when we bust you for drinking in the dorms because you're not allowed, not of age, and it's our job. In the end, it's not our fault it's yours.

These helpful tips will make your time in college just a little easier. College can be hard and having troubles where you live isn't something that you want. So know what your RA wants you to know, and dorm life will be a breeze.

Cover Image Credit: http://nique.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Freshman-Dorm_Online_Edit.jpg

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To The Girl Who She Thought She Was Ready For Something But Isn't

Sometimes things don't work the way you want them or do they?

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There could be a multiple of things that you thought you were ready for. It could be that first trip that you planned on going alone, a higher job position, a new relationship. Just know that when you take that first step, you technically are ready for this new transition. It's a matter of running the whole journey with it. Its okay to give up if there is no other option, but don't give up so easily when things get rough. Whatever situation that you are going through, there is always someone to help guide you through it. Just know that you don't have to make that journey alone. I am in a new part of my life and my journey wasn't easy but I know that I can't fight what the universe wants.

Its okay if you're unsure of yourself but there are parts of the universe that wanted you to take that first step. Whether it's a manager or a friend that believed in you to give you the opportunity or the idea. If you start to feel like that this journey wasn't a good idea, you should assess yourself and see if this is what you want. If the answer is yes, then pursue it with all of the power that you have. I've noticed when something new is in my life isn't working out how I thought, it's normally how those surrounding me react to it or if I start to negatively self-talk myself to go back into my comfort zone. You can't stay in your comfort zone forever and not rise or fall. We are all scared of the fall, but you haven't lived if you haven't taken that leap and ended up fine on the other side.

There are multiple ways to hype you up for this next stage in your life. You can combat the negative self-talk with positive stating that you can do this. If you find that you aren't getting anywhere, go on another project that will bring you success so that you can come back to this one with a clear head. If you are going into a new role at work, watch videos of other leaders that can inspire you to combat through their journeys. There are multiple ways to make sure that you succeed, but it all comes down to you because you are the one willing or unwilling to make the journey. If you don't have your full heart in this then what's the point?

All of this comes down to if you are willing to believe in yourself or not. I say if you weren't willing to make this leap yourself with a full heart then you need to reevaluate yourself. I am going through a new journey in my life right now and it tests something that I'm not good at naturally. I normally go about things that I'm naturally good at, but it's time for me to fly rather than walk. If you are struggling with something new in your life, don't let it ride but surf the tide. You got this!

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