With another semester of college just beginning, I’ve seen anxious but excited new faces fill Baldwin Hall, each person looking forward to the next four years.
When you’re a first-year, many tears are shed with many goodbyes, yet an abundance of love and affection is shown when meeting the people who will become a big part of your life for the duration of your time here at Allegheny. The feeling of freedom and independence shoots through your veins for the first time in your young, 18-year-old life. You feel like you could take on the world. You feel like you have made it. You may not know it at the time, but when you move in as a first-year, your journey has just begun.
In the next four years, you will probably be faced with heartbreak, stress, anxiety and an extreme amount of confusion, but all of that will shape you into a stronger individual who will be ready to face the real world. Your teachers will probably be hard on you, but do not worry — they are always looking out for your best interest, even if it does not seem like it at the time.
Your parents will probably push you to your wits’ end with constant discussions about keeping your grade point average up, being involved with as many campus activities as possible, and of course, finding a career path, or, as I like to call it, the most dreaded conversation. Always remember: they love you, and they only want you to succeed. At the end of the day, you will figure it out, and whatever collegiate path you choose, it was meant to happen. Do not doubt yourself, and always stay positive. Always work hard. Life will work out for you once this four-year experience as come to a close.
Lastly, take the time to find your people. Find those around you who lift you up before they would ever tear you down. It is hard to come into college and find your place right away, so do not get discouraged. You absolutely will find your place, and it will make your college experience that much better.
Above all, do not lose yourself in the madness of college. Embrace the struggle and let it transform you into a strong, independent and radiant young adult. College offers so many opportunities to grow. From day one, take advantage of them.