Chapter 1: Welcome to College

Chapter 1

(The view from my freshman-year dorm) 

“Should I wear this top with jeans or overalls, Mom?” It seemed like the most important question in the world at the time. You would think I was meeting the President of the United States when, in actuality, I was attending my college orientation. I was a bundle of nerves. Questions like: how will I make friends? How do I start a conversation? What if my classes are difficult? They all circled endlessly around my mind. It was likely evident that I was a mess inside, but I kept a smile on my face so as not to burden my parents with my anxiety. 

The start of college was an abundance of many things, like stress and anxiety, but also excitement and new experiences. Moving from Boston to NYC was not a drastic change but nonetheless a change. My school was now 4 hours away instead of 30 minutes. My bed was a cramped twin XL instead of the comforting full I had at home. Long were the days of solitude in my room, as my room was now occupied by two other people, not just people, total strangers. I was prepared for this. I was informed what college was like, and while each person’s experience is completely different, some experiences do align. 

As the days went on, my feelings toward college were nonetheless changing, and rapidly at that. Some days, I woke up and found myself excited for the day, whether due to a new conversation I had or a rewarding grade; other days, it felt like torture. I felt so lost and alone, and while I expected it to take time to make friends, at this point, it felt futile to even try to make conversation. I would walk the hallways lined with classmates who all seemed to always have a smile cracked on their faces or a laugh exploding from their mouths. Where was mine?

At the start, I relied on my roommates to be my friends… this did not pan out well. They seemed to take a liking to each other rather than including me. On top of this, I found myself in classes that were not engaging, whether it was my Intro Italian or my advanced-level Anthropology. I never found myself totally understanding or immersed in the topics; nerves made me apprehensive to attend class (nonetheless, I would still go). 

The weeks passed by, and I found myself in this limbo, neither good nor bad, just manageable. More and more, I talked with one of my roommates, Stacy. She was cool and fun and had never tried Indian food before. One night, with my Paneer Tikka Masala, I offered her a plate, a peace offering of sorts, and from there, we started to hang out more. We would go out to get lunch sometimes or walk Lincoln Square. Stacy turned from (in complete honesty) someone I disliked into a friend, and not only that, one of my best friends. A friend I would spend every waking moment with. We started sharing laughs, creating little inside jokes; all the little things were coming together. 

Soon enough, the girl I sat next to in Anthropology, whose makeup never failed to captivate me, and I started talking more. Her name, as I came to find out, was Jenna. A girl I had seen through the halls of my dorm but never had the courage to make conversation with. I can say now that she, too, stands as one of my closest friends. 

College became less daunting, classes lightened, and I had people I felt seen around. These companionships and experiences are ones that I know will last through the ages. 

 Key points:

  • I greatly struggled to find my place in college at first; friends were difficult to find, and I felt super overwhelmed
  • As time passed and tears were shed, I discovered a growing appreciation for my classes and connected with individuals with whom conversations flowed naturally, rather than trying to force connections.
  • Cultivating hope and patience enabled me to forge enduring friendships and make significant strides in my academic journey.

If you are ever craving a delicious meal and refreshing coffee, stop by Cafe Landwer and use this $10 off coupon to treat yourself. 

By Juliana Capasso

Juliana Capasso is a junior at Boston University studying Film and Television & Public Relations. Outside of her academic responsibilities, she spends her time exploring the city with friends, reading, listening to music, and journaling. 

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