According to the Donnelly Hall graduation countdown clock winding down, my freshman year at Marist is officially coming to a close. It feels like it was just yesterday that an eager group of volunteers helped my family and I lug my belongings from our car all the way up to my room in Leo Hall. Before you start college, everyone warns you that time flies as soon as you arrive, and your four years as a student go by in a blink of an eye. Well, I can verify that; my first year sped by. After all, time goes fast when you are having fun.
So now it is time to reflect. Where shall I begin? I’m not even sure how to summarize the past year of my life because it has been insane, wonderful, amazing, crazy, stunning, memorable, and more. Just trust me when I tell you that your life is going to change in epic ways as soon as you get to Marist. You just have to experience it for yourself.
I think that the one thing I remember the most about the final months of my senior year of high school was that indescribable feeling – anticipation and anxiety all in one. Butterflies in my stomach, excitement. I guess I would describe it as the feeling that came along with knowing the world was about to open up for me for the very first time. The idea that anything could happen. Because really, anything can.
I think back to my first day here all the time and I realize that I have learned more about myself as a person during my first semester at college than I did during my entire four years of high school. College is different because it hands you these experiences that are so life-changing and gives you the opportunity to explore interests, hobbies, and possibilities for your future that you didn’t even realize existed before.
Your perception of yourself and the world around you will change, as well. You will begin to realize that, yes, if you can survive your parents dropping you off at a place where you know virtually nobody and then make a life for yourself there, you can handle pretty much anything life throws at you. You will learn how much of an impact you can have on your peers and even the world around you by being passionate, getting involved, and always, always being kind. You will start to see yourself becoming the person you always knew you could become, and that is so exciting.
Freshman year is afternoons spent hanging out at Marist Beach with friends, taking trips to the Cabaret at 12 am to get ice cream after a long night in the library studying, finding yourself, turning people who began as strangers into some of your closest friends, the opportunity for a new beginning, and more.
So, thanks freshman year for some of the best memories of my life. And if you aren’t a freshman yet, make the most of your time as one. After all, you’re only a first year student once!