Adjusting to Life on Campus: New Places, New Faces

Before coming to Queen’s, I had many fears, fears that I wouldn’t make friends, a fear that I wouldn’t fit in, fear that I wouldn’t like my roommate, and fears that I don’t know what I’m doing (whether it’s not knowing what job I want to have, or just life in general). University is definitely a big adjustment - from having to leave home and family; to transitioning to a state of independence where you have to fend for yourself. You have to navigate campus, make new friends, get good grades, balance school with social life, and embark on a journey that is said to be the best part of your life. No pressure!

The only word that can sum up Frosh Week is ‘overwhelming’ A sea of new faces, most of which, I couldn’t recall. I was met with an onslaught of people: people on my floor, in my building, in my program and in my classes. To this day, I still continue to meet new people. It was definitely intimidating meeting so many people all at once, especially since I’m not outgoing, but I definitely met some really great people along the way. Although, meeting so many new people all at once took some getting used and so did getting my bearings straight. 

In the first few days, I walked an enormous amount trying to figure out how to navigate campus, but I guess that’s okay because I got in a good workout. My step count was off the charts. Anyways, walking around led me to getting lost on numerous occasions, but luckily I had Google Maps to help me. :) During the first week, we were given a tour of the campus as well as a tour downtown. The trip downtown was cool because I was able to get a glimpse of what Kingston has to offer, from the cute coffee shops that I am definitely going to try, to all the shops and restaurants along the street. 

The idea of moving away from home and into a res was scary. I’ll admit, I cried the night before because I was really going to miss my parents, especially since I come from a close-knit family. After a few days at Queens, I realized that I didn’t miss home as much as I thought I would. It’s okay if you miss home and it’s okay if you don’t. We are all human and experience things differently. I know friends who talk to their parents every day and have cried, while others don’t miss home at all and barely talk to their parents. One thing that definitely helped me adjust to university was making the room more comfortable and personal, so I bought a poster with a quote on it because I love inspiration sayings. I also bought a purple psychedelic tapestry because I love the colour purple. Anyways, I wanted a roommate because I wanted to meet new people and experience university, but I was scared because I had heard a handful of stories about friends having terrible roommates. All in all, my roommate and I aren’t best friends or anything, but she’s nice and we get along.

Now let’s flash forward. It’s Monday, September 30, making it officially one month since I have moved into residence here at Queen’s and I have come to realize that this university feels like home. I love the castle-like buildings, the feel of the campus, the friends I have made along the way and the friends I have still yet to make. Queen’s has amazing school spirit and I will continue to enjoy immersing myself in it. Overall, whatever you are feeling is completely normal. If you are having a great time at university, then I’m truly happy for you and hope you continue to have an amazing time. However, for those of you who aren’t, I want you to know that you are not alone and that things will get better - it may take weeks, months or years but it will get better. University is downright scary. It’s meant to push you, but don’t let it break you. Get involved by joining clubs and teams - I joined Her Campus and field hockey club and I’m so glad I did. This first month has been exciting, and I cannot wait for the journey ahead.

Best of luck to everyone and Cha Gheill!!

Photo by Hailey Rodgers