Every year, students across the country begin college for the first time, either as freshman or as transfer students. It can be an incredibly scary process, as you’re leaving home and stepping into a new world with uncertainty. As a freshman last fall, I entered SJSU excited to start college, but quite nervous. It was the very first time I began living in a new place, surrounded by unfamiliar faces. From an academic standpoint, I expected college to be somewhat similar to high school, but with harder classes and a larger workload. School wasn’t the thing I was worried about, it was mostly making friends and getting comfortable living in San Jose.
At the time I didn’t realize that other freshman and transfer students were going through a similar transition. Unknowingly, we were all scared together. Even though we were nervous, entering college pushes you to go out there and make some new friends. At first, I was a little shy, and unsure how to make conversation. Being plunged into a new environment was intimidating, but I wanted to get to know people and make some friends. Through talking to new people on and off of campus, I was able to meet many students from a variety of backgrounds. It was so different from high school! In high school, everyone lived in the same bubble and had somewhat similar lives. In college however, people come from all walks of life and have grown up with different experiences. Listening to stories and hearing different viewpoints allowed me to truly expand my perspective on life, and make some great friends in the process.
If I could go back and give advice to myself, I would tell myself to not worry so much. Yes, college is definitely terrifying in the sense that we’re all growing up, and life is moving by a little too fast. In that transition however, you have the chance to be who you are. It’s a fresh start, with endless possibilities. Although the Coronavirus has limited the chance for freshmen and transfer students to meet new people, I encourage everyone to go out there (virtually or in a safe way) and take some chances. Put yourself out there, make some friends, and truly relish this time. I hope everyone gets the chance to enjoy their college experience, because this time doesn't come back.