What I Didn’t Expect From My Freshman Year: A Letter to the Class of 2018
Hello Class of 2018! I can’t believe a year has past since I obsessively read all the literature available to me about CMC and combed through every single aisle of Bed Bath & Beyond and. If you’re nothing like me, you probably didn’t get into a fight with your mom in every aisle of Bed Bath & Beyond. However, if you’re anything like me, you probably feel a strange mix of nerves and excitement and are just as eager to go to CMC as you are scared. Don’t worry, that’s completely natural.
My whirlwind year was a roller coaster, a crazy, awesome, wouldn’t-trade-it-for-the-world two semesters. For the most part, I had the time of my life, while at some points it was tough. There were many facets of CMC I expected such as, wonderful social scene, great weather, and to be challenged in the academic sense. However, there were some parts of CMC (and college in general) that I had no idea would happen. In homage to freshman year, I have compiled a pseudo-list (not 6) of what I didn’t expect and wish I knew beforehand:
• How challenged I would be emotionally to change as a person, to grow and mature, and how fast I would have to rise to this occasion
Over and over again, throughout your life, you’re constantly reminded about the importance of college. It’s often regarded as a time to learn. That’s true. However, much of what I learned in the past year came from outside the classroom and outside the academic setting. I was forced to mature and understand more about who I am through my time thus far. Sometimes I think this is the true purpose of college, besides the academics and finding a career, because these intangible skills make up whom a person really is.
As clichéd as it is, I can honestly look back at the September 2013 version of myself and say I’m different. There are tons of curveballs that life throws and college amplifies many of them; CMC has changed the way I’ve learned to react to that. CMC is your life. There is, for better or worse, no real way to escape everyday CMC life, and it’s intense. When you come in last in the freshmen class election (link) you have to face it and not cower in your room. When you get in a fight with your friends, you have to own up to what you did and fix it. When you get rejected for an institute or do poorly on a test, you can’t let it define you.
Sometimes it’s hard and you may alone or defeated, yet once you overcome them, CMC will continue to function as your splendid home. I can remember there was a point last semester where I wanted to transfer; little things built up and felts overwhelming and CMC felt like a wonderful place to be. But because of these difficulties I’ve become more introspective, thoughtful, and just maybe a little bit mature. If those three things are what I can take away from my freshman year, I think that’s more important than academics.
• How friendly everyone is
Coming from New York, a land known to outsiders as incredibly unfriendly, I was shocked by how nice people were. Honestly, it’s a bit unsettling to see a constant sea of smiles, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s always wonderful when strolling from Bauer to Kravis between class and met with the oft said: “Hey! How are you? We should grab lunch sometime” with those who you might not hang out with otherwise. I have to allot approximately five minutes more from when I walk across campus because stop to chat all too frequently; it’s wonderful.
• The availability of free food, EVERYWHERE
Seriously, you will never go hungry — I’m not quite sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. From snack to tea to Scripps snack and Scripps tea (9:30 Tuesdays and 3:30 Wednesdays, respectively) there is an abundance of free food everywhere. I kid you not; I once saw a girl cry over Scripps tea’s chocolate bread pudding. Through clubs, ASCMC, or anything in between you can wander around any campus and find some sort of food, free of charge.
• I never want to leave CMC, ever
After venturing back to the East Coast this summer, I have missed CMC greatly. While talking to friends from other colleges, I’ve realized that CMC has many unique facets either within our social scene, academics, extracurricular activities, and overall culture. Although tacky and somewhat unexpected, CMC has become my home.
Trust me, I know how scary, difficult, and fun adjusting to college can be. But I’m sure you will do just fine. The next four years here will bring out a range of emotions (for the most part great ones!) and function as your home.
Take a deep breath and get ready to embark on the experience of a lifetime.