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Things We Learned During Our First Two Weeks of College

This year, as first-year students, we have experienced college in a different way than any other class before us. With the challenges and limitations that the COVID pandemic has created, everything from our orientation to our first-year seminars have been modified in order to meet social distancing guidelines. As if moving away from home for the first time isn’t hard enough. Now it’s harder than ever to meet new people and adjust to an unfamiliar environment.

As we finish up our first month in college, we have been reflecting on what we have learned from our first two weeks.

  1. 1. Comparison Kills.

    My adjustment to college was not effortless.  If I’m being honest, I am still adjusting to college, and that’s okay. It’s okay to not have it all figured out on your first day, week or even month of college (especially when you are living in the middle of a pandemic). I had to remind myself of this fact  a lot throughout my first two weeks. As I dealt with homesickness, tons of confusing homework, and Harris dining food, which tended to be iffy at best, I would scroll through Instagram and see so many of my friends from home having the time of their lives at their respective colleges. Seeing their seemingly perfect college experiences made me envious. What were they doing that I wasn’t? Why wasn’t I having the time of my life at college? It took me a few days to realize the problem with my thoughts. Social media is a highlight reel full of perfectly curated memories that do not resemble real life. When I took a step back and stopped comparing myself to my friends Snapchat stories and Instagram posts, I was able to fully enjoy my own college experience. Now I’m a little over two weeks in, and although I am still getting my bearings, I have a solid routine and met many amazing people who I am lucky enough to call my friends at Conn. - Sarah Hennig ‘24

  2. 2. It's Okay to Feel Everything.

    In my first few weeks at Conn, I’ve felt such a range of emotions—from homesickness to excitement about all the new things I get to experience to the overwhelming loneliness of onboarding quarantine. At first, I felt frustrated with the overabundance of all the seemingly random emotions I was experiencing, but with time I’ve learned to recognize and give value to my feelings as they come and that it’s okay to hold multiple conflicting emotions at once. So now when I feel the stress of homework assignments, the anticipation for a fun weekend with new friends, and the sleepiness from a late night, I’m able to take a deep breath and better process and understand what I’m feeling and why. And know that it’s okay to be all of these things at once. - Kendall Foley ‘24

  3. 3. Try EVERYTHING.

    In the weeks before moving into college, my mind was filled with an array of worries. Would my roommate and I get along? How could I meet new friends while stuck in quarantine? Would I like my professors? Would I be able to get involved with clubs and campus activities? All of these questions led me to one conclusion: I would have to step out of my comfort zone. From the moment I arrived on campus, I signed up for every event, club, or activity that remotely piqued my interest. This was extremely nerve-wracking at first, and I almost backed out of things before they even began. Eventually, I learned to let go of my fears and just go for it. Now, three weeks into my first year at Conn, I am acting in a play, working in the Advancement Office, choreographing for Dance Club, and writing for Her Campus. Although the auditions, interviews, and online meetings could get tedious and stressful, it was through these experiences that I have made some my closest friends so far at Conn. Now, I feel much more comfortable in my life as a college student. - Lara Beckius ‘24

  4. 4. Don't Be So Hard on Yourself. 

    The transition to college is a big deal, and right away I felt as though I had to have everything together. Long story short, I didn’t have everything together. Meeting new people, starting classes, and finding your stride at a new place is difficult and can be overwhelming, understandably so. I remember the first college assignment I got during the first week was to write a paragraph reflection on a reading we had for homework. Although it was just one paragraph, I spent hours at my desk overthinking, rewriting, and totally freaking out. I had this idea in my head that it needed to be absolutely perfect and that I needed to have mastered college level writing right off the bat. Looking back now, I realize that I was being too hard on myself. As I talked with friends about their assignments, I noticed that we all had very similar experiences and that I wasn’t alone. I realized that we are all new to college and we are all just figuring it out, and it’s okay to make mistakes. I know now that I don’t need to feel like I have mastered every skill there is because that is exactly what college is for. It’s a place to learn, improve, explore and, of course, have a blast while doing it. - Sophie Zakin ‘24