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1st Year Jitters

Thomas Fitzpatrick, C'24

The first year of college – a whirlwind of new experiences, nerve-wracking transitions, and the ever-present question of what the future holds. It's a time of excitement, of stepping into the unknown and grappling with the changes that lie ahead.

For me, the transition from high school to college was a mixed bag of emotions. On one hand, there was the thrill of embarking on this new chapter of my life, full of endless possibilities and opportunities for growth. But on the other hand, there was apprehension about what the future held and whether I was truly ready for the challenges that lay ahead.

One would think that living at home and attending a college close by would make the transition smoother, almost seamless. After all, I was familiar with the area, and campus was just a stone's throw away from my high school. But instead of feeling like I was stepping into a brand-new world, it felt more like an extension of the familiar routines and surroundings I had grown accustomed to.

And that's where the trouble began. As the weeks of that first semester unfolded, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was stuck in a never-ending cycle of high school déjà vu. The prospect of spending the next four years in this seemingly stagnant environment filled me with a sense of dread and restlessness.

In a panic, I began scouring listings for apartments and housing options near campus, desperate for a change of scenery and a taste of independence. But as fate would have it, those plans never came to fruition. And so, I found myself grappling with the realization that perhaps the change I sought wasn't external but internal – a shift in perspective rather than a change in location.

It took a few weeks of soul-searching and self-reflection, but eventually, I came to terms with my situation. I realized that college wasn't just about the physical distance from home or the novelty of new surroundings; it was about embracing the opportunities for growth and learning that lay before me, wherever I may be.

And so, I made a conscious effort to immerse myself more fully in campus life, to seek out new experiences and forge connections with my peers. Slowly but surely, those initial jitters began to fade away, replaced by a sense of calm and confidence in my ability to navigate this new chapter of my life.

Looking back on that first year, I realize now that those nerves and uncertainties were simply part of the journey – a rite of passage, if you will. And while the road ahead may still be uncertain, I take comfort in knowing that I have the resilience and determination to face whatever challenges come my way, head-on.

Thomas Fitzpatrick, C'24