Starting College is Scary and so is Making New Friends!

It has been two years since my first move-in day and I still remember how nervous I was to this day as a junior. Would I make new friends? What would my dorm be like? Will my roommate and I get along when we actually meet? What would my classes be like? There were a thousand questions rolling in my mind and I had no answers.

For anyone starting college this semester, I will tell you that it is quite a distinct experience, especially if you have never really moved anywhere before then. However, just remember that almost everyone is in the same boat as you. Everyone has those same questions in their mind. It may not seem like it, but it truly is.

I found it was particularly easy to make friends on those first few days of orientation and in classes. Most people I met were extremely nice, and everyone wanted to make new friends and get to know everyone. Despite the groans of hearing we were going to play Ice Breakers again, we got to know each other well those first few days and I am still friends with the people I met.

One of my biggest suggestions for that first semester is to join a few clubs that you have interests in (academics, special interests, sports, alliances, etc.).

The only club I joined Freshman year that I am still a part of is the Paranormal Club and it was the best decision I ever made. I became friends with almost everyone in the Club, having the common interest(s) of the unknown and love of the horror genre.

We create a Haunted House in the Fall Semester to fundraise money, and being on a large group project like that was extremely beneficial to our relationships to each other. In fact, I would suggest this for anyone at any time in their college life—join a large group project of some sort. Then, during the Spring Semester, we went on a big investigation trip, which sealed that relationship. We turned into a family of the sorts during that time.

By the end of the first week of Freshman year, all of my questions had been answered. I had made a bunch of new friends, most of whom I am still close with. My dorm, despite the 18 fire alarms (my roommate and I counted—trust me on this), was great and comfortable and felt like another home. My roommate and I got along great and we became really good friends and still are. My classes were the perfect mix for someone who was somewhat new to college academics and, in fact, my schedule introduced to me to my other major (art history), which I added the Spring Semester that year.

There are so many options during those first few days for Freshman that it can get quite overwhelming. I remember getting overwhelmed on the first night and I had to stay in my room and watch some movies instead of going out to the party that SU puts on for the first-year students.

And, honestly, it is completely okay if you do not go to everything that your university puts on for you during that first week. Your mental health is more important than going to those events. Some people can do nonstop events during that week, but not everyone, so do not feel pressured to do the same.

You know what your boundaries are, and you can succeed in your first year.

Good luck to the new 2023 class!