Embrace the unknown. This is the most important advice that I could give to the me that was an anxious and confused student in a completely new life, in a completely new environment. At the beginning of this school year, I felt out of place and afraid that I wouldn’t grow accustomed to life at the University of Michigan. I moved away from everything that I was grew comfortable with: my family, my friends, my city, even that park that I would go to every Saturday morning. It seemed like, all of a sudden, I woke up from a dream and teleported to some alien world with everything new set up for me. Even more, I was never an outgoing person, and so making friends during Welcome Week was extremely hard. I think those few days were one of the most depressing periods of my life, and I had wished I could fly back to New York and embrace the value of every aspect in my previous life that I took for granted.
Welcome week passed, and I realized I didn’t have the leisure to feel homesick. I had to adjust to the dorm experience, knew where all of my classes were, and complete already assigned homework in a matter of days. Life seemed to move at an incredibly fast pace. For weeks, my train of thought was “work hard and push through this semester so that I can go home during Christmas break and live my old life.” However, as it always does, life made its unexpected turn. I had the chance to meet two great friends that I first met during UC 105 discussion, and our bonds grew closer as time passed. I would visit their room around 12 or 1 in the mornings when I needed to destress from overwhelming school work, and would always have a blast having the most random conversations at the most random moments with them. It wasn’t long before I knew that these friendships would last for a long time. As I reflect back, I want to thank them for accepting me, a complete weirdo who has the weirdest tendencies and habits (they know what I’m talking about).
As the school year progressed, I was fortunate enough to make some other great friends by playing basketball with them. Also, my spontaneous walks in the dorm halls helped me make friends as well. I realized that HSSP is such a friendly place; everyone is incredibly nice and considerate. I began to find this new life surprisingly pleasing, and have gradually grew accustomed to it. In fact, I now wish I could be in HSSP for my whole college experience, with the same classmates, peer advisors, and resident advisors. I have developed strong bonds with some resident advisors and peer advisors that I know will last for a long time to come.
Overall, my college experience has been great, and HSSP was 99.99% of the reason why. If my life was a video, I would hit the replay button, starting from my first HSSP experience, a million times. The unknown that I anticipated would be a terrible nightmare was the complete opposite. It would be highly unlikely that I won’t be sentimental when I leave at the end of April for New York. And yes, I have heard of terrible first-year college experiences from many other students. But I bet not one of them was in HSSP. If I could travel back in time, I would tell my frightened self: don’t be afraid of what is going to come in the future, you will definitely enjoy it.