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As a senior looking back at freshman year, I can honestly say it was a long and stressful time; a year I wish I would’ve taken full advantage of.
Freshman year is the first time you’ll be living away from the comfort of your home. You will have to make life changing decisions and for the first time and you’ll discover who you really are. It’s a year when you can start all over again, and leave all those embarrassing high school memories or nicknames behind.
You start fresh, you can be whoever you want to be, and hopefully you’ll decide there is nobody better to be than yourself. You can be 100 percent YOU.
This year is full of firsts; the first time your parents aren’t there for dinner time, first time you have to sit in a 500 student class where you don’t know anyone. The first time you eat lunch by yourself in a place full of people, the first time you go to a college party, the first time you decide the night isn’t over without stopping for a Highland burrito on your way to your dorm and the first time you have to cook a full on dinner using nothing but a microwave- and the outcome isn’t the best. Your first all- nighter and the first time you realize you actually have to study to earn an “A” in a class.
Overall, you’ll grow independent: you’ll have to do your own laundry, clean your room and you’ll have to go to the store by yourself. Mommy won’t be there to hold your hand when you’re scared. You are an adult, responsible for yourself.
Nothing will come as easily anymore, including making friends.
I’ve always been shy, quiet and it takes me time to get used to new people and new surroundings. This wasn’t helpful when trying to make friends my first year. I attended huge classes where I didn’t know anyone. My weekends were boring, without anyone to hang out with so I’d run away every two weeks. I’d go back to the comfort of my home.
That was my first semester at The UA but second semester freshman year I decided to take full advantage of my time in college and I promised myself I wouldn’t waste my time anymore. I would study my heart out and make friends; this would be my semester to be and do all that I wanted to.
I became part of a group I identified with, I joined a service based Latina founded sorority. These women made me feel included, I identified myself with them. Most of us were first generation students. For the first time since my move to Tucson, I had something to do every weekend: community service. Most importantly, I met my closest friends, girls who’ve inspired me to do greater things than what I thought possible and who have pushed me to work harder.
If I hadn’t joined this organization, I would still be that shy 18-year-old who moved to Tucson and had no social life because she had trouble making friends.
I found a place where I fit in and where I could be 100 percent myself. I have grown so much and I am a completely new person, a person who is not shy to speak her mind.
Find that place on campus, that club, organization or sport that makes you feel comfortable being YOU; go out of your shell and make the most out of this experience. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, don’t just attend class and go home, attend class and walk around campus, attend club meetings, you’ll discover who you really are and your life will be filled with enormous possibilities.
Four years might sound like a long time, but trust me, time flies. When you least expect it you’ll be at the Arizona Stadium, wearing a cap and gown waiting for “real” life to start after receiving your diploma.So enjoy your college experience to the fullest and don’t hold back from doing whatever you want.