Freshman year of college can be extremely difficult. Adjusting to a completely new environment while trying to make friends, join clubs and manage your classes is no easy task. While I had a wonderful freshman year, it had its challenges.
Being 14 hours away from home is scary, and when I arrived at the College of William and Mary on move-in day, I was equal parts terrified and excited. Fortunately, the College’s Orientation weekend is designed to ease fears and nerves by keeping you so busy that you don’t even have time to be homesick or anxious.
At the time of Orientation, I complained about having twelve-hour days and about having to walk upwards of ten miles a day around campus, but upon reflection, Orientation brought me closer with my hallmates and made me feel like a part of the community. After talking to my friends and new students about Orientation, it seems that the weekend bonds freshman halls.
Additionally, first year roommates often become life-long friendships. For me, some of my best friends were on my freshman hall, and if Orientation had been any different, I may not have formed the relationships that I cherish so much now.
However, as a freshman or transfer student, it can be easy not to want to branch outside of one’s residence hall. The first couple of weeks of school can be extremely overwhelming and living next to your best friends can help make the first months of freshman year more enjoyable. This may result in not wanting to step outside one’s comfort zone to meet people outside of one’s hall or dorm.
While there’s nothing wrong with being close friends with your hallmates, it is extremely important to continue to reach out to students outside of your building.
There are so many opportunities to make new friends here at the College. Stepping out of one’s comfort zone by joining a student organization can and will exponentially improve one’s first year here.
The number of different clubs here is incredible, and it is virtually guaranteed that one can find a club on campus full of people with similar interests.
Through organizations like club sports, FSL, activist groups, special interest groups, student journalism opportunities and on-campus (or off-campus) jobs, one can meet a multitude of new people including upperclassmen and those who live across campus.
There’s no denying how nice it is to live across the hall from your best friend, but try not to let the comfort of your freshman hall keep you from taking full advantage of what campus has to offer.
There are so many wonderful people on this campus that are ready and excited to welcome all the new students.
The sense of community that you probably feel among your freshmen hallmates is wonderful, and if you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone, that sense of community will only expand. While our saying “one tribe, one family” may sound cheesy, it really is so true.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! You never know where you may meet your new best friend, as long as you continue to explore around campus.
Email Katherine Yenzer at email@example.com.