Dear First Year Self,
I remember saying goodbye to mom and dad on move-in day. I was ready to begin my college journey with these high expectations of what it would be like in my mind. Having a whole group of friends after a week just like my group at home, having an easy time in my classes because I trained myself with AP courses in high school, and having an easy transition to my new home in Fairfield, CT. As we both know, these expectations were not the reality.
I cried, a lot. I called my parents more often than I thought I would just to hear the sound of familiar, loving voices. After just one month, I was convincing my parents that I needed to fill out an application to a school that I could commute to from home. They told me to hold on a bit longer, but if it was really something that I felt I needed to do, that I had all of their support. I knew in my heart that I had chosen the right school. I loved all of the clubs that I was in, the beautiful campus, my wonderful professors, and all of the great business networking opportunities offered here. I knew that Fairfield U was where I was meant to be, but I did not feel at home regarding my social life.
I was so used to easily making friends at home that I expected it to be a piece of cake coming to a whole sea of new faces. I thought that joining clubs would instantly mean new friends. Most clubs were just starting out and did not have many meetings at the beginning, so I did not make friends from them right away. I was losing hope and letting my mind take over me.
It was not until around Thanksgiving that I felt at home on campus. I am so glad that I chose to stay because I have become close to some of the best people in the entire world and I knew that I had chosen the right school. To finally feel like a part of the community was a blessing to me and I could not wait to go back to school for the second semester. I even had some of my friends over my house during the winter break. Things really turned around for me when I realized that I needed to hold on. It was very hard to be optimistic in such a situation, but I stayed focused on the things that I was enjoying at Fairfield and eventually, my happiness with the school radiated onto the faces of others and I finally found my people. Hang in there because it always gets better with time.