Everyone’s finally settling into their new digs and while sophomores, juniors and seniors are spending their time hanging out with their friends and recapping their fun, exciting summers, freshmen are having an entirely different experience.
As a peer catalyst for FYS, I’m lucky enough to have a lot of interaction with freshmen. I get to hear all about their roommates and the drama (or lack thereof) that accompanies living with a stranger or even sharing a room for the first time, the “excessive” amount of readings for all their classes and, more generally, how they’re liking their first few weeks of college.
For the most part, I get pretty positive reactions. However, now that I know my freshmen a little more, I’m beginning to hear their concerns and the negative aspects of the transition into college that I remember all too well.
I think it’s safe to say that the first four to six weeks of college are probably the biggest transition periods for everyone, and it doesn’t make it any easier when you’re constantly surrounded by people who regularly post pictures of the Quad with the caption “home for the next 4 years” or something along those lines.
It took a long while for Quinnipiac to truly feel like home for me. I was the only one from my hometown and my graduating class who came here last fall, and I walked onto campus not knowing anyone. All around me, everyone was finding their groups and making friends who, according to their Instagram captions, were “long-lost twin[s]” or “forever friend[s].” That, combined with pictures on my feed of my friends from high school having a great time at their own colleges, really made me question whether I chose the right school to spend the next few years of my life at. At one point, I even considered transferring because I just wasn’t feeling like I “fit” here.
However, a year later, I’m experiencing the exact opposite feeling. I got really involved during my first semester of school, whether it was on the Chronicle or the Honors Program, or by going to tons of hockey games and watch parties or even just something as simple as saying hi to the girl who lived down the hall from me.
I realized that as I became more involved and active within the Quinnipiac community, the fear that I had chosen the wrong school was beginning to fade away. All of a sudden, I understood why everyone was calling school “home.” I see people I know every time I walk to class, I know how to navigate through every building (except the basement of CCE) and sometimes, I even feel happier at Quinnipiac than at home.
I’ve found that people don’t really like to mention QU not feeling like home right away but after talking to all of my closest friends, I’ve learned that almost everyone experiences this during their first few weeks.
If there’s anything I’d like to make sure my freshmen and all the new students on campus know, it’s that it’s okay to not feel like Quinnipiac is your home right away. It’s normal to feel totally isolated during the first few weeks and looking into transferring is something that more people you know do. While transferring isn’t something that’s out of question, I challenge you take the first semester to try out a bunch of clubs, say hi to those random kids who live down the hall, go to the sporting events, explore campus and give yourself time. I promise that you’ll find that there’s something for everyone at QU and once you find what that is for you, you’ll be making your mom mad/upset because you keep accidentally calling school “home.”