By Chris Dolan
It feels like yesterday that I was a high school senior preparing for his first semester at University of Rhode Island. Although I wasn’t what you would call psyched to go, I was very excited to try a new adventure.
My first semester at URI was not what I expected, though. Instead of meeting lots of new and interesting people, I spent 60% of my time in my room watching Netflix. I also found it very hard to make friends as a lot of people went home on the weekends, and since I lived eight hours away and was not a huge partier I did not fit in very well.
At the end of the semester my parents insisted that I should transfer schools. At the time I believed that I was happy at URI and transferring would not be necessary but the more I thought about it the more I realized that I wasn’t happy and that I did want to transfer. When January of 2017 came around, I was able to transfer to Sacred Heart University, and what a difference it was.
During my first semester at Sacred Heart I got exactly what I expected out of college, which was finding my people. I joined the Lighthouse Community, which welcomed me like I was a long-lost family member, and I also joined the film club, which allowed me to hang out with fellow film lovers. Within these two groups I felt like I was at home and there were people who enjoyed spending time with me. I also got out of my room a lot more often.
After my first semester at SHU, I found my groove. The Lighthouse community became a place where I could hang out with people who shared my faith and beliefs but also could have a good time. They respected everyone’s opinions and they became like a second family. For the first time I was actually enjoying college instead of just being there for what I felt I needed, which was an education. The film club also took off and I got lucky enough to be president, which allowed me to invest in something that I was very passionate about. With advisors who also like film, the club seemed to get off the ground a bit.
Now it is my senior year and all of these things that felt new feel like blinking in that they just feel like my normal routine. When I was at SHU, I found a home, and while I did start at URI and believe I would be okay there, I was wrong. I began to realize that while spending all your time on Netflix is okay from time to time it is not healthy and the loving people of SHU opened my eyes to that. I would not be the person I am today if I hadn’t transferred and listened to those around me telling me it was the right thing to do. I am very glad I had the experiences that I did at SHU. I feel like I have become a more evolved person, not just in a literal education sense, but also as someone who understands the world better and is more prepared for what is to come — good or bad, I am ready for it.
I will miss SHU and the experiences I had there. SHU gave me an amazing education and despite being home and getting educated online, I still felt like the community cared and respected me. As I write the end of this editorial, I cannot believe I will officially be a college graduate.