This may be hard for some of you to imagine, but when I came to…
When I first got to campus last year, I was very overwhelmed. This was something I had thought about and prepared for for years, but you’re really telling me that after moving me into my freshman dorm, my parents would just leave? And suddenly I’m on my own? As a freshman, the first week was filled with tons of welcome events, first experiences, and a lot of new faces. Realizing how important it would be to make new friends, I tried very hard to meet as many people as possible. However, after the chaos of welcome week ended, it became clear to me that I would never see most of the people I had met due to the sheer size of our campus. That’s when I remembered some of the weekly gatherings that a council member told me about during Open House — specifically Freshman Connection.
The first week of Freshman Connection, I went with no expectations for what this group might mean to me. I figured I would go, see if I liked it, and decide if I would come back. When I walked into the lounge that first night, I saw so many new faces, but something was different than the faces I had seen during welcome week. These faces all belonged to people who were going through some of the same things that I was. These faces belonged to people who were also adjusting to adult life and being on their own for the first time. And most importantly, these faces belonged to people who were looking for a group of friends, a community, a place that they could call home. I decided that this could be a place for me.
Throughout the semester, I grew closer to people who attended Freshman Connection. We played games, argued over how many holes a straw has — I’m still sticking to my answer of two; if you disagree, come debate me at dinner — had conversations about faith, listened to each other’s worries, and shared the struggles we navigated in this new phase of life. No other place on campus made me feel the same sense of community that we had created during our time together. Freshman Connection became something I looked forward to every week because it was a chance to relax, reset, and, well, connect. By the end of the year, I found myself regularly attending Midweek Morsels as well as other gatherings because I loved the community I found here. My fears about not making new friends and living in a brand new place disappeared because I had a new home and a new family to support me.
So if you are feeling any of the things I described just now, know you are not the only one feeling this way. We would love for you to be a part of our Pres House family and hope that you consider coming to Freshman Connection or any or all of our weekly gatherings. Find your community because you belong here and we would love to have you.
Laura is a sophomore studying neurobiology.