Staff Writer: Hannah Haigler
As I am so close to senior year, looking back to freshman year seems such a long time ago, yet like it was yesterday at the same time. Pulling into the parking lot between Laverne and Wilson, which I learned was not the best parking lot on campus, I stepped out of my car on the first day ready to tackle this new adventure of college as an undeclared freshman.
I walked to Hayes and sat down for my very first college class, Math 209 with Dr. Brown. I didn’t know what to expect having grown up homeschooled, but as soon as it started I began to soak up all of my classes like a sponge and live for the excitement that was university life. I would rush to my next classes thinking that ten minutes was not enough to get to the Batte Center, but would later learn that it was plenty of time as time seems to work differently in college.
I applied for my first real job at the Ethel K. Smith Library to which I still work to this day. I tried out a few different clubs and organizations, I highly recommend it, didn’t go to any sporting events, I highly discourage it, and spent lots of time studying. I also took Gateway 101 where I met my best friend and had my life changed forever.
But things weren’t always great. Not knowing what I wanted to study constantly ate at me and taking classes not related to a major were tearing me apart. All I wanted to do was to find where I belonged on campus.
If your first semester is starting off tough, hang in there, it will get better. The timing of college is a strange thing. Staying up until 3am, the best writing time if I had a say; getting up for class at 7, and trying to fit in a lunch break in between your 5 back to back classes.
But here is the thing. As a freshman who had just left a gap semester and was trying to figure out brand new plans and dreams, I constantly was planning and wishing for the next season to get on with my life.
Today, I wish I could go back and tell my freshman self to stop and slow down. To hang out with friends and family as much as possible. To attend sporting events, school events, and clubs. That the McGee Center is one of the best places to hangout on campus.
It will take some time but you will find the English department, and along with it, your place with some of the greatest people and intellectuals you’ll ever meet. To stop living for the future and be present exactly where you are because the next time you blink you will be making appointments to tour graduate schools.
Take a deep breath, my freshman friend; everything will be alright. You will be okay, and while grades are important, they are not the end of your life. You are a human being, not a human doing, and you do not have to do it all. You will succeed because you are not alone and there is a community to back you up.
Welcome home bulldog, you are exactly where you are meant to be.