The first year of college is full of surprises, new experiences, and adaptation. Samantha Hirsch ‘17 recounts her first impressions while going through the unique and thrilling events of freshman year.
Where to begin. Looking back on my freshman year here at Rollins, it is hard for me to believe it is already over. I know everyone always say that, but it really is true. Going to college, I did not know what to expect. Who was I going to become friends with, what were my classes going to be like, where was I going to be living, what would the parties be like? I remember distinctly arriving on campus and parking by McKean, of course on the complete wrong side of campus considering I was living in Ward.
When I first got to the dorms, I remember my roommate was not there, but my parents and I started unpacking my things from the car. On one of my trips back to the car, I ran into my roommate. The encounter was long anticipated, having only Skyped and snap chatted over the summer being that she was from Sweden; it was nice to finally come face-to-face.
That night was a weird night—it was my first night of college! After having met the kids in my RCC class, I was going to bed with a few familiar faces in mind, and a very long weekend ahead of me. I was nervous—the good kind where you are secretly excited.
The next few days went by really slowly, meeting new people each day and finding my way around campus. I remember one day in particular, the first Friday night, when we were invited to our first college frat party. Okay, well we were not exactly invited, but from word-of-mouth we decided to check it out. I remember we went as a small group of four and decided to walk. Let us just say that was a bad idea. Although the house was not far, it turns out that the GPS for walking is ridiculously inaccurate, causing us to ultimately get lost. After about 45 minutes, we stumbled upon the house and found ourselves standing at the door. We were not really sure what to do. Should we knock, ring the doorbell, or just go in? We opened the door and I kid you not, Project X…well, not really, but to me it seemed like it. It turned out that night was a night where I met some people that would become a big part of my college experience.
Fast-forwarding to when classes actually started, I was definitely nervous for this part. We met our teachers, played ice-breakers, and received the syllabi of what we would be studying for the next three and a half months. Classes seemed pretty chill. The semester continued on with various paper assignments, but for me it was honestly about the people. I was loving the idea that everyday I would see and meet someone new. It was refreshing! Parties came and went—all honestly pretty much the same—and soon enough it was fall break.
My roommate came home with me, and my parents greeted us with a barbeque with my best friend and her family. It was really nice to be home with my family and my best friend after being away at school for about a month and a half. I will say though, it was weird. I had this strange feeling of almost emptiness; I had just moved into my dorm room where I went to school, where I ate, and slept—where I lived. Being home sort of messed with my mind being that all my things, my clothes, pictures, and my everyday life was not there anymore.
I came back to school with this strange, confused feeling. I started to realize that my routine was now here, at Rollins, and not at home with my family. The semester continued, and soon Thanksgiving rolled around. It was time to leave again. The semester was passing by a lot faster than I thought. One thing at this point in time though, was that my friends and I had created our own little group. Over break we would text and talk on the phone and it gave me something to look forward to coming back to. When we came back, we only had two weeks until the end of the semester. I honestly could not wrap my mind around that. The last week of classes rolled by quickly and then it was exam time. I took my exams and was the first among my friends to finish. I said my goodbyes and I was off. It was weird that I would be leaving behind the friends that I live with, sleep with, eat with, and have classes for a whole month.
Winter break flew by. It was nice to vacation with my family and visit my distant relatives, but I could not wait to come back for round two. I came back a week earlier than most for Intersession. I took a journaling class, which was very interesting.
That week was good, a little quiet, but soon it was the Sunday before classes started, and I went to the airport to pick up a couple of my friends. My roommate had arrived with her friend from home which was awesome, but a little tight to have a third person in our room. The first week was cool seeing everyone after a whole month and getting back into the groove of things. I had new classes, with new people and was excited to start again. Second semester is different though; it is sort of the semester that makes or breaks you. While coming in as a first semester freshman, you are on the high of college: you want to meet new people, try new things, and jump into everything with two feet. Having taken full advantage of my newfound liberty my first semester of college, the second semester more so became the time where I buckled down and took school a little more seriously. The second semester went by even quicker than the first. Even just writing this now, it is truly so bizarre to me to think that all of these things happened three or more months ago and that I will be finished with my freshman year of college in only one week. For the upperclassmen who are reading this right now, I am sure you can relate with at least a few of the thing I am saying here.
I look back on my freshman year and I can honestly say I have no regrets. Sure, there are some things I wish I could have approached differently, some things I should not have done, and some things that I should have, but I can truly say that my freshman year has been bigger and better than I could have ever imagined. The relationships I have made will last a lifetime, and I am grateful to have spent it here. As cliché as it sounds, one of the many chapters of my life has just come to an end, and I cannot wait for the next one to begin.
Photo by Rollins College
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