Freshman in Disguise: Life as a Transfer Student
By Laura Iglehart, Student at Georgetown University
It felt all too real. Being new. Being anxious.
I found myself at another new student orientation. But unlike the other two orientations I had attended, this program was at the school that I knew was right for me. This overdue sense of relief coupled with "new kid" anxiety overwhelmed me. Being a transfer student felt just like being a freshman, except for the unwelcome reality that I wasn’t one of them. I may have been one year older, but I didn’t feel much wiser.
I owed it to myself to have fun and avail myself to all the opportunities surrounding me. For the first time since high school, I felt at home. Even though I didn’t know very many people, the infectious sense of community and friendship welcomed me. I allowed myself to feel happy and optimistic about this new experience.
The best thing I did was to reach out to other new students. Many of them were just as anxious as I was, so we shared comfort in our uneasiness. On the second day of orientation, I met someone who I already consider to be my one of my best friends. In addition to studying the same major as me, she seemed to feel exactly everything I felt. Like me, she had also experienced a senior fall of college rejections and a freshman year at a school she had never planned on attending. Without a doubt, this chance meeting alleviated our anxieties.
In addition to reaching out to strangers, I also made it my job to get involved on campus. My new friends and I joined throngs of freshmen at the student activities fair and signed up for anything and everything. With my email bombarded by club events and open house invitations, I knew I would be able to find some group for me. Through clubs and groups I've become involved in, I have met many other students, new and returning, who share the same interests as me.
The past month has been uncomfortable and awkward. But it has also been one of the best months of my life.
For the first time in years, I feel invigorated by the community around me. I feel happy and optimistic. But most importantly, I feel at home in this new environment.
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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