As a second semester sophomore, I do not think I could be any happier than I am now. Staying here was one of the best decisions I have made, not just in my college career but also in the long run. It is difficult for me to think back to freshman year because I did not have the easiest of transitions onto the college scene.
I applied Early Decision to Fairfield, and was dead set on coming here because of what they had to offer: great academics, an abundance of opportunities, a train straight to Manhattan, and a safe and secure campus. Once I got accepted, I could not wait to meet my fellow stags and future besties. I thought of all the amazing things I would accomplish like starting a club, making Dean’s List, studying abroad, and making my family proud. I was moving onto the next big phase in my life by leaving home along with everything I knew.
Freshman year was a big transition: I moved to a new state, met a ton of new people, tried to navigate campus, and still had time for my studies. I was happy to find a friend group comprised of people from orientation and others I met at move-in. Everything seemed great and I thought I was where I wanted to be, but things took a turn for the worst.
My friend group started deteriorating, and I was left outside of it. I did not have many other friends, so I did not know where to turn. I felt completely alone. I went out on the weekends, tried talking to people in my classes and tried to push myself past my comfort zone, but nothing seemed to work. I felt disconnected from those around me and from the Fairfield community in general. I was an outsider looking in. I was doing well in school, had made Dean’s List both semesters of freshman year, but I had nothing else to show for my college experience because it was nonexistent.
Going home for breaks was a blessing because I could be with my family and my dog and be comfortable in my own skin. I would spend time with my childhood friends as they told me their crazy college stories where they were having the time of their lives. They had found a family and a home away from home. While I was happy for them, this made me realize how unhappy I was at school.
I started to look at other schools and cried myself to sleep countless nights. I felt hopeless in a place where anything was supposed to possible. All my experiences were turning me into someone I wasn’t, to the point where I barely recognized the girl in the mirror. After talking to my parents I decided it would be best to stay through sophomore year, so I could give Fairfield a real chance.
So I stuck out the rest of the year, met genuine people I spent most of my time with, and promised myself that if I remained unhappy, I would transfer my first semester of sophomore year. But you know what? I am happy I stayed. I finally found my home away from home at Fairfield. Over time I got to know my way around, met more people and chose to double major and minor. I dedicated myself to staying fit, and will be studying abroad in Florence this fall. Most importantly I have found a family who supports me, cares about me, and helps me be a better person. I feel like I am a part of something bigger than myself, and can see that the next two years are going to be even better than this amazing year has turned out to be.