I’ll be honest, the majority of my freshman year at UP was pretty awful. I was in a bad roommate situation, I was having a hard time transitioning into college life and I felt extremely alone. There were definitely times where I questioned if I had picked the right school for me.
A true introvert with a little bit of social anxiety, I came out of orientation physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. That was not how I wanted to start my first year of college. I was hopeful though. Every person I met was always super friendly and welcoming. I just did not seem to connect with anyone I met.
Academically, everything was going great. But that could not make up for my lack of social life. First semester ended and I was ready for Christmas break. But break was too short. I found myself dreading the idea of going back to campus.
However, things began to look up second semester. I had a new roommate who I got along with and I started to find people who I felt like were similar to me. Second semester was a big turning point in my life. While I did not have a huge friend group or an instant best friend, I was slowly but surely expanding my social circle. When it was time to choose living arrangements for sophomore year, I finally felt good about my social life at UP.
This year, I can happily say that things are going great. My roommate and I have so much fun with our suitemates, and although classes have definitely been a lot more challenging this year, I am having way more fun than I ever thought I would.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this: If you are a freshman or a transfer student and are having a hard time finding your place at UP, be patient. Everything will work itself out.
It was extremely hard for me for most of my freshman year, but I truly feel like I found my place here. UP is a welcoming campus with some of the nicest people I have met. Sometimes, things just take a little time. And that’s okay.
The best thing to do if you are struggling is to relax. Just enjoy every moment you can. Put yourself out there. Try new things. Join a club. Just say hi to the person sitting next to you.
I genuinely believe that UP is a place where anyone and everyone can fit in and thrive. So if you think you might not belong here, I challenge you give it some time. You may be surprised.
Madison Pfeifer is a sophomore at UP and a news reporter at The Beacon. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.