Freshman tips for college

My name is Jessica Witczak and I am currently a student at Indiana University. I am a Journalism major pursing Public Relations. Writing is my favorite form of art amongst many different styles, however what I am most passionate about is digital media and all things technological.

It’s kind of strange, isn’t it? We pick up our whole lives for four short-lived years to move hundreds of miles away. Some even make the bold decision to move thousands of miles away to the complete other side of the country. For others, that’s not enough, and they decide it’s in their best interest to pick up and move across the world. At this point in time, we are still young and naïve; we don’t know the first thing about being on our own. It’s invigorating, yet daunting.
Imagining college throughout high school is somewhat of a fantasy. Time flies and the next thing you know its time to say goodbye to the most familiar place and the most comforting faces you have ever known. It becomes time to venture out into this diverse world, and discover what we’ve been searching for our entire lives.
I’ll never forget the way I felt, as I watched my parents drive away after moving me into my dorm my freshman year. My heart felt like it had sunk into my stomach. Suddenly, I wanted to run after them and beg them for one last hug. Even though I had spent my entire high school career eager to be on my own—away from their rules—this feeling was unlike anything I’d ever felt. I sat in my room feeling lost, unaware of what my next step would be. This place felt foreign to me, and all I wanted was familiarity.
Being homesick is something most college student experience, but my best advice would be to stick it out and get out of your comfort zone. For starters, get out of your dorm room, even if that means you simply walk down the hall, and introduce yourself to floor-mates that you’ve never had a chance to meet. Most people are on the same page, so ask them to go explore campus, or if they still need to buy posters for their rooms. You would be surprised how pleased they would be to make a new friend.
Colleges offer a variety of clubs and activities. If you really love a sport, join an intramural team. If you are pursuing advertising, join the advertising club. If there isn’t a club that you feel is right for you make one. Odds are there are students who are fascinated by the same things you are. Getting involved is the best way to meet new people, as well as make such a large, unaccustomed place feel a little bit smaller.
Eventually you will start to notice that these strangers have become your best friends, and your school becomes your home. These people will not only teach you so much about the world, but so much about yourself. When you return to your friends and family back home you will realize how much you have grown and how much taking that uncomfortable leap has helped you grow. Being homesick is something that you will overcome, and as soon as you do you will begin, what people say, is the best four years of your life. Because, trust me, these years will pass as quickly as they came.

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