Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Well, hello there college ... nice to meet you!

Picture this: you’re in the backseat of your parent’s car on the way to move in to college.

Your heart is beating fast.

You have butterflies in your stomach.

You can’t help but be excited, yet nervous at the same time. You’re mere hours away from officially being a college student ... away from your parents ... and living on your own for the first time ever! You think you’re 100% prepared for this new life. You've read online all of the recommended freshman in college do’s and don’ts. But alas, this was a whole new world. An entirely new script. A new lifestyle ... my new chapter.

This was me three years ago. I was that typical nervous freshman not knowing what to expect my first year at Bloomsburg. I just knew I was excited for this next chapter to begin.

I'll never forget the empty feeling of hugging my parents’ goodbye with my voice cracking and eyes filled up with tears after finishing unpacking my dorm. I've never felt anything like it before. It was a mix of sadness and excitement all at once. I had no idea what I was going to do without them. I stood in the parking lot watching them drive away just wondering what I was supposed to do next. Besides my roommate, I was all alone on a campus of almost 10,000 students. I felt like an outsider.

Flash forward a few days and it’s my initial “first day of classes” in college. Unlike high school, I walk into a room full of strangers. It was nothing like my hometown. I pretty much knew, or have heard of, most of the people in my town. And everyone knew everyone’s business. Here I was, in a town full of people I had never met and without my parents, for the first time.

My shyness was definitely triggered. I knew I was there for my education and to pay attention to the professor, instead of being so nervous. I had no idea what to expect from college classes. The thought of not having my mom around to help me with any of my homework, like math, gave me a knot in the pit of my stomach. And just thinking about not being able to come home from a rough day and not having my dad there to make me laugh made it even worse!

My biggest fear was I was going to fail out, that I wouldn’t be able to handle and equally balance a social life and school work. I heard so many stories of people just not going to class and partying all day and night, not having a care in the world. I made sure I paid attention and went to every class and asked for help if I ever needed it. I was motivated to do well in college and to not let any hard classes get me down.

Going into college no one really ever tells you about the important little things you learn day to day. My time in college so far has taught me a lot of things. Things like communication, leadership, and time management. My first year of college taught me something that has helped me throughout these years which is how to be independent.

I had to live without my parents for the first time and learn to do things on my own. I took care of myself when I got sick, fed myself, forced myself to go to classes, and learned how to become my own person.

Those college do’s and don’ts definitely didn’t prepare me. In college, you don’t have your parents on your back telling you to get your homework done or reminding you of things going on. It's solely all on you to be in charge of your life and to make sure to get your work done.

I'm glad I was able to balance how to have fun and taking my education seriously. Surprisingly, first semester freshman year was one of the best semesters academically I've had. Learning how to be independent by being on my own for the first time and what steps I have to take to succeed is what kept me focus and still does to this day.

Looking back, I'm proud of myself on how I got throughout the “toughness” of the first year of college. Bloomsburg taught me independence my freshman year of college by allowing me to learn more about myself. I’d say that’s a pretty big achievement for a freshman.

— Samantha Bergan, senior mass communications major and English minor #BloomOnward #HuskyLife

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