Whether you want to admit it or not, your senior year of high school wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. You and your best friends drifted apart, you finally stopped talking to the people who treated you poorly, and you felt lonelier than you had in recent years. In essence, you found out who your true friends were after those long, long years in the same school system. However, when it comes time to start college, its your big opportunity to start over and make better friends than you had.
Your first day of college is the worst: you feel lonely, anxious to make your best friend (though that will take a while), and you feel almost rude and obnoxious for jumping into everyone’s room while they unpack to desperately introduce yourself, or at least I did. Its not easy leaving hundreds of familiar faces from your hometown to come somewhere brand new. It is, honestly, very hard at first to force yourself to be independent and hopeful even though the girls across the hall seem to all ready be best friends and go to parties every night. You don’t even know where the parties are! The first few days you will have anxiety, call home about random things because, admit it, you miss your family and dog, and you will SnapChat awkward pictures of yourself to everyone on your contact list. Though the first few days are tough, I guarantee everyone is feeling the same way.
I can’t even count how many other girls had approached me within the first week; striking up a conversation about our hometowns, majors, etc, and somehow many of these interactions would loop back to how hard it is for them too to meet people the first day, and that their first night was also kind of lonely. But fear not, I’m not here to tell you college is lonely and depressing! The first night, yes, because you still don’t really know anyone and you and your roommate are probably stuck in an awkward silence moment, but trust me, the entire freshman class feels the same way! So take opportunities, no matter how late it is or how wild it seems, to go out and do things with new people (be legal and safe, of course) because you will quickly form friends by the second, third, and fourth day. One of the most beautiful things about UNH is that no one is judging you for being a freshman, something that worried me and my new-found-friends. College is nothing like high school, so don’t worry about seniors and juniors judging, hazing, or being annoyed by underclassmen; they could care less. In fact, its quite the opposite. One particular night, my friends and I went out to walk around and experience the night life. We walked around blindly, trying to have fun until we ran into a group of seniors… and a one or two juniors. Worried we’d be judged, we were all about to pretend we knew what we were doing, until they started talking. We thought they’d chide us for being uninformed freshman girls, perhaps, or who knows what! Instead, they were thrilled to meet freshman, as one one them quickly recognized one of us as underclassmen. They told us where to go, and what to do, and how fun this, that and the other thing was. It was not only surprising but heart-warming to feel so included so soon in the college experience.
Starting at UNH this fall was a huge endeavor not only for me, but for all my fellow freshman. We all felt lonely at first and anxious to make friends, we all wanted to go out and have fun even though most of us didn’t really know where anything was, and we all felt at least a teeny-bit homesick at first (if they say no, they’re lying.) UNH is the experience of a life time, and so far the happiness from being apart of the wildcat community proved itself to me: when my friends and I were approached by upperclassmen, willing and excited, to help us find our own amazing college experience like they had. This was a totally selfless act of the wildcat community; this was definitely no longer high school.