Reflecting on My First Semester at College

As the semester winds down and the countdown to winter break begins, I keep thinking about how much has changed in the three months since I’ve come to college. I am not going to lie, the first few weeks were socially difficult.  Once orientation week ended, I was left to fend for myself and that was a little scary. I am so grateful that Brandeis is such a warm community but coming in, it was a little intimidating to see all these people reuniting with warm embraces and giggling as if they had known each other their whole lives.  How on earth was I going to find my people?



Things began to look up as I auditioned and began rehearsing for the fall play and musical.  For the first time since I had arrived, conversation came naturally and our common ground allowed for many, “oh my gosh, me too” moments.  Having rehearsal each night motivated me in my classes and I couldn’t wait to walk into the room and see those smiling faces each night. My relationship with many of the people grew from fellow actors to good friends.  Show week came and I couldn’t wait for my family to meet all the wonderful people I had been going on and on about, but then something happened. The show ended and suddenly I wasn’t seeing those smiling faces anymore. I panicked.  I began to think that these moments of deep friendship we're going to be reserved only for times when I was in a show.



I was heartbroken until I discovered the most incredible question: Do you want to grab a meal this week?  It was the most amazing thing. The response to this simple line always included exclamation points and ended with a date and time.  My calendar quickly filled up with lunch and dinner dates and even a breakfast date once. I realized that these special moments with people I connected with didn’t have to end just because our show did.  Yes, typing that out to people I had never spent one-on-one time with was not the most comfortable thing I have done, but only good things came from it.



That high school comfort of knowing that I had my little lunch group to fall back on disappeared but in return, I gained so much.  Not only do I have close friends who have taken care of me in hard times but I also have a little more confidence in myself. People want to make friends and have engaging conversations and while it took a bit of time for me to figure it out, I am proud of how far I have come and I know the path I took was the right one.  


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