A New Year by Caitlyn

So, since I will be an RA on campus, I am actually leaving my hometown in 6 days.  I can barely believe it.  Where did the summer go?!  I have started packing and  have been thinking about what lies ahead and what I went through as a new student.  Last year, my first year, was a huge adventure and the best growing and maturing experience… EVER.  I had a ton of trials and tribulations including my mom having a cancer scare, but I learned how to handle being an adult, being away, and being independent. This year, I think that things may be a little different.

I have already become accustomed to BG and have sort of figured out how I should study and manage my time.   This was established during my first year. However, being an RA will be a fantastic new experience.  It is another responsibility to throw on my plate and will allow me to use my support systems to help others.   In all seriousness, one of the new experiences that I am really looking forward to is helping the new freshman.  I was the new kid last year and I know how to feels to be away from everything you have ever known and to tackle unknown territory.  That is why I think that new students need to be aware of a couple of things.

The first thing new students need to be aware of is that everyone is experiencing some sort of homesickness but not everyone is experiencing the same level of homesickness.  I met people who lived three hours away who experienced more homesickness than I did and I live 2500 miles away! But the reality is, you are all going through the same thing, at least when the year starts out.   So, don’t be afraid!  Everyone is just as scared as you are, no matter where they are from.  Perhaps it would be beneficial to find someone to talk to, to help you cope.   I know I did and now they are one of the people who I can really confide in.  And here I am, returning for an even better second year!

Another important thing to remember- college is work.  I figured college would be like high school, where I was a straight- A student who did not have to work as hard as other people.  Turns out it’s not.  I have to struggle to do well but the struggle is well worth it.  If new students can put in the time for studying, they will always have time to play!  One thing that might make this easier is getting to know your professors.  In the end, they are there to help you and really are some of the most influential people you will meet. Take advantage of those office hours!  I have found that taking advantage of those office hours has allowed me to build a stronger relationship with my professors and they have wanted to see me succeed more than if I was just a face in the class. So, work hard and play hard! Make sure you balance it all!

Finally, get involved! There are SO many things for people to do on campus! If you can get involved, you can meet new friends, find new hobbies, and have a great support system even though you are in a new environment.  This does require a little risk in that you have to simply throw yourself out there! But in the end it makes you stronger.  I have found that I love hockey and then I joined a group called Kappa Phi!  You will be surprised, there is something for everybody! Here is the link to some on-campus organizations:

So, those are a couple of things to think about before you head into fall semester.  I will surely blog about the RA experience.  And Organic Chemistry… which is the only class I am super worried about….. I have heard some serious horror stories! Anyway, get excited for fall semester.  🙂

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