The first day in college was one of the most memorable days of my life. It was a mixture of sad and happy moments. I was torn between two mindsets. I wanted so much to go to college but I felt sad to leave home at the same time. After all, I had lived in a small town in Tasmania for the first 18 years of my life. Where had all the time gone by? One day I was learning my ABCs, and the next I was celebrating my high school graduation with my classmates.
That day, my parents and I crammed my belongings into the back of our van and headed to campus. Throughout the journey, I held onto my old stuffed bear in my arms, hoping to get some comfort. Upon our arrival on campus, I felt anxious to see so many unknown faces. One of the RAs approached us and gave us a brief introduction on the list of things to do for new students. He then handed me my room keys before showing the way to my new dorm. I dragged my belongings into my room and piled them onto my bed. I saw my new roommate, Sam, for the first time and wondered if we would get along. We proceeded to unpack all the boxes and arrange the items on the shelves. After we’d done unpacking, it was time for my parents to go home. I assured them that I would be alright, despite harboring the fear of moving away from home for the first time. I could see my mother’s tears as we said our goodbyes. Then they left and I was on my own from that moment.
Two months went by. I learned my way around campus and made many new friends. I got the opportunity to meet new people when I participated in my dorm weekly activities. I loved playing Scrabble and I joined the board games group every week. That is where I got to know a couple of my dorm mates. We became close friends even until today. We relied on each other during times of hardship and difficulty; I felt so lucky to have them as my friends. And with all of us sharing the experience of leaving home for the first time, I didn’t feel so alone anymore.
3 years have passed since I first stepped onto the campus grounds and I’ve changed in so many ways. I’ve become more independent and better at making decisions. I admit that I’d made countless mistakes along the way – putting a hard-boiled egg in a microwave was one of them. College is not just about studies and tough times, I also have time for fun and adventure with my friends.
For example, we went backpacking in Europe during the summer holidays. I remembered working two part-time jobs to fund my trip. It was tiring to work every day after school but it was worth it. As we traveled through France, Spain, and Italy, we got to experience diverse cultures and learnt new languages.
College is definitely a good experience, and I’m still gaining adding new memories to my college life every day. For those who are entering the first year of college, I hope that you will have a spectacular time throughout your college years. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and experience everything you can. This is the best time to discover yourself while pursuing your dreams.