College. The place that everyone claims you’re supposed to discover who you are and meet the best friends you will ever have in your life. Well, for a girl who is pretty confident in who she is and feels that she’s already made some of the best friends she could ever hope for, college just seemed like a scary change to me. Although I was excited to FINALLY be devoting myself full time to the art form that I love – musical theatre, I was terrified for the semester ahead of me. On top of going to a new school far away from my friends, who are currently all over the country, I was moving to another state entirely – Oklahoma. And boy it is SO different from Texas. After being here for two months, I’ve become semi-familiar with Tulsa and my hair appreciates the weather here much more than the Texas humidity, but all of that doesn’t change how much I miss home.
To all of my friends who are seniors in high school, If anyone ever tells you that Freshman year of college is an easy transition, they. are. lying. I was told that so many times because the high school I went to was impossibly difficult (shout out to stag). Freshman year is amazing- don’t get me wrong, but it’s also awful. Everything is new. New classes, new teachers, new living environments, new responsibilities, new teams to cheer for, new people to meet, and for me personally, the most daunting of all is a whole new set of auditions that I’ve had to face. I had cold readings for the fall shows within two weeks of being on campus, and that is a kind of stress that all of the petroleum engineers around me could not possibly understand. I also have more auditions next weak *cries.* And the show I have been helping make costumes for opens tomorrow! I have already experienced so much as a musical theatre major here and I absolutely love it. Something that most people don’t understand though, is that although being a performance major is a blast, it’s a helluva lot of work – my 12 hour work day I had hanging projection screens in the theatre for The Hourglass Project comes to mind. Although I’m having a good year so far, let me go ahead and talk about the most difficult challenges I have faced from being a freshman again and some lessons I have learned in the two short months i’ve been in college.
- Being at the bottom of the food chain again stinks. Every time I do something stupid, people give me that silly freshman look. I have gotten lost more times than I care to admit, tripped in broad daylight behind frat row, and dropped props backstage and causing an abundance of noise during a rehearsal. After finally getting to be a senior last year, having to start all over again has been exciting but also completely frustrating. I will say that I’m so thankful for all of the wonderful upperclassmen who have taken me under their wings, because not all upperclassmen have sweet attitudes toward freshman.
- The MRS. Degree thing was not a joke – it’s a real thing. Within a week of being here there were already relationship statuses all over facebook and the never ending “ring before spring” jokes are just hilarious to me. I’ll admit that I panicked a bit when I was told that there’s a proposal spot on campus. So many questions popped into my head – Does this mean I’m supposed to be in a relationship right now? What if I don’t want to be? What if I never seriously date someone in college? Does that make me weird? The answer to all of that is NO. I quickly realized that not all guys here are wanting to jump into a relationship. And it’s completely normal if I don’t want to either.
- If i’m not in a sorority I am going to be okay. It’s not the end of the world. After a lot of girls here went through rush, everyone would ask me “are you greek?” I heard that so many times. And I have absolutely nothing against sororities! A lot of girls I know including my best friend are greek (shout out to my theta). I think sororities are absolutely wonderful, but as a first semester freshman, i’ve come to the conclusion that I have so much going on that it’s okay if I don’t decide to rush second semester. College is full of so many wonderful opportunities and organizations to get involved in. You don’t have to be greek.
- It’s okay for me to miss my friends from high school. Last week I was talking to some new people i’ve met about my high school friends and they treated me like I was so strange. They repeatedly said “I don’t talk to any of my high school friends” or “that’s so dumb, you’re supposed to meet your best friends in college.” I kind of pouted for a second and thought that maybe I was weird. But would I really just throw away 4 years of memories with some of the greatest guys and girls i’ve ever met just to replace them as soon as possible? NO. That seems strange to me. My skpye calls with friends from back home are what keep me sane while trying to get used to college and meet new people.
- It’s okay if I’m not sure what I want to do with my life yet. Despite the fact that everyone is pressured to have an internship as soon as possible or get an interview, people in college change their majors all the time. So when people ask me what I want to do with my degree I proudly say “I want to perform” even though I know I could change my mind. Nothing is ever certain. When people give me a confused look, I just smile and laugh because of course a biology major won’t understand wanting to be on stage for a living. ha!
- I am incredibly grateful that I have a place to help me grow in my Catholic faith. The newman center has helped make this school feel like home. After attending an all girl’s catholic private school for 4 years I knew that I needed to have an outlet for fellowship in Christ and a place to go to Mass. I am now the secretary of a women’s group on campus that I absolutely adore and I have met some of the best girls through it. My faith is incredibly important to me and i’m lucky that I have a place to grow spiritually and not be pressured by the expectations of a college freshman in today’s society.
These are just a few things I have learned or experienced in college so far. Freshman year is when everyone is supposed to figure out where they fit and who they want to be. The only thing a person can truly do is be themselves and everything will fall into place. Along those lines, here’s a quote that stuck with me through high school and stays with me through this exciting journey that is college…
“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire” – St. Catherine of Siena