Amy Vogelsang attended Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School, and also spent a semester studying history in Ireland at the University College Cork. She graduated in 2012 with a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication. After graduation, she became a reporter for the Roswell Daily Record in New Mexico where she focused primarily on feature stories and photography.
While in Roswell, Amy co-founded Odds N Ends Magazine, a publication for teenagers discussing books, movies, music, television and video games. She was an editor and writer for the magazine until moving to Denver, Colorado in 2014.
She still lives in Denver where she is attending Metro State University in order to complete her history degree and acquire a license to teach high school history and English.
Starting college is both exciting and nerve wracking. There is, of course, the prospect of moving from home and being able to start living an independent life. I remember thinking, “I’ll be able to go where I want when I want and make my own rules!” A very liberating idea. However, living away from home for the first time can also be daunting. There will be new responsibilities, new challenges, and this can be stressful.
But you will not be alone.
Everyone else starting college – the other freshman – they are all doing the same silent cheers and also the same secret nail-biting.
The truth is, no one really knows what they are doing when they start college. Whether you will graduate at the top of your high school class or will barely inch by to get your diploma; whether you come from a populated city or a small town; no matter your past, starting college will bring you together with other freshman solely based on one fact: you’re all entering a new world.
No one will be able to tell you exactly how your college experience should or will be, but there are a few tips that might help you navigate your new surroundings with slightly more grace.
First, take chances. Don’t be afraid to turn to a stranger and introduce yourself. That person might end up being your closest friend. If you don’t step outside your comfort zone and try new things, you might miss out not only on hysterical experiences and great friendships, but also memorable stories.
Secondly, be open. Don’t limit yourself to people you think you should hang out with. College is not high school. People come from many different places and backgrounds, and closing doors too early could negatively affect the rest of your college years. And don’t just be open in regards to people; stay open when choosing clubs, activities and classes as well. One of the greatest things about college is the wide variety of extra-curricular activities. You enjoy sports but only on a casual level? Intermural flag football may be in order. You have a nerd side you’re ready to accept? Dumbledore’s Army exists and comes complete with Quidditch matches and a Yule Ball. And for the actual school part of college, there are classes for all interests, not just the core obligations. It’s OK to take classes that are not required. Give ballroom dancing a try. Or take History of the Beatles and challenge your own knowledge.
Finally, and this will sound cliché, but be yourself. The only way to truly survive college is to be you. Do things you want to do, not things you think others expect you to do. And don’t fall into a group unless those people accept you as you are. College is a big world, and there is a place for you in it. You just have to be brave enough to find it.