BY Amber Martinez
I have thought about college ever since I was in elementary school. College was always this dream that felt untouchable. No one in my family besides my older sister has gone to college. I applied to seven schools in total; Sacred Heart was my number one choice. Beyond mesmerized by the sense of community and feel of home, I applied Early Decision to SHU. On Dec. 17, my dream finally came true.
For the rest of the year, SHU was all my best friend and I could talk about. (They also applied Early Decision to SHU.) By the time summer came, it was finally time to start buying everything and packing all my belongings. Summer flew by, and then it was finally move in day. Although it was my dream to go to college, I was still terrified. Would I make friends? Would I be able to handle being away from my mom? Would college meet all of my expectations?
I am so lucky to have someone by my side while starting college, and all the more so to be living with them. Although, it was important to us that we made other friends too. All summer, any time people would ask what I was most afraid of, I would tell them that I was afraid that people wouldn’t like me and I wouldn’t make any friends. But what I quickly learned is that I wasn’t alone, because a lot of people were feeling that exact same way. You bond with your peers because of the fact that you are all going through a new experience together. I have made some really amazing friends who I wouldn’t trade for the world. They have made my college experience, so far, one I won’t forget. I shouldn’t have worried so much, because SHU is filled with such nice and amazing people. You don’t get ranked 10th for Happiest Students from the Princeton Review without having a great community.
Personally, getting accustomed to my schedule was very difficult in the beginning. High school is very structured; every minute is planned out for you. In college, you’re given a lot more freedom. Some days I start at 9:30 a.m and end at 12:15 p.m, leaving me with hours where I have nothing to do, besides homework. Not having a class every day and not having the teacher remind me of upcoming assignments took some adjusting to at first. College is all about time management.
I found that making sure my life and my room are organized makes me feel less stressed. At home, my mom washed my clothes for me, but since she isn’t here, I have been doing it myself. Doing my laundry has given me a sense of control and a time that I feel productive. I have also found that a clean workspace is a productive workspace.
College is a learning experience. You learn what you want to do in life. You learn about yourself as a person and what you want from the world. We are in our sixth week of school and I already know that SHU was the right choice. I even knew it the first week. I am oddly doing amazing. I wasn’t expecting to settle or be so comfortable so fast. I miss my mom immensely, of course, but like I told my First Year Experience professor, I am doing great, beyond great.
The secret to adjusting to college life is much simpler than some believe. Go to club meetings and get involved. Write for the Spectrum or sing in one of the choirs. College is what you make it. It may seem scary in the beginning – trust me I know– but give it some time and effort and you won’t regret it.
I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else. I’m proud to be a Pioneer, now and forever.