Dear Freshmen

Dear Freshmen,

Bear with me, I’m feeling nostalgic. I was out for a run Saturday morning when I realized it was move in weekend. More than that, I realized it was the day you all would be arriving. I thought back to my first day on campus and realized it was EIGHT years ago. That’s odd because it seems like just yesterday I was hanging out on the campus lawn with friends. And then I had this reality check: a child born that weekend in 2005 would be entering THIRD grade!!! Ouch. If I didn’t feel old before…

Anyway, I was thinking about my first day… my first month… my first semester… my first

My freshman year roommate, Michelle, and me. Clearly we have a thing for Halloween. (photos courtesy of Valerie Granuzzo)

My freshman year roommate, Michelle, and me.
Clearly we have a thing for Halloween.
(photos courtesy of Valerie Granuzzo)

year. I was so anxious about leaving home. I was excited to start something new but that didn’t stop me from slipping away to cry at some point that first weekend. (What can I say? I’m a bit… emotional at times.) And I can tell you that my first semester wasn’t easy. I hated not knowing who I was going to eat dinner with that night and found it difficult being away from friends that I had grown up with. I struggled with the idea of finding… substitutes, let alone “replacing” them. I did have a friend nearby at RPI in Troy who, quite honestly, helped me get through my first semester but it was still hard.

Still, I knew I had to give it a fair shot – especially because each week was ever so slightly better than the one before it – and decided that if I didn’t love it by the end of my first full year I’d consider transferring. Well, I bet you didn’t see this coming, but by the time that May rolled around I couldn’t imagine leaving.

The years kept passing until before I knew it I was a senior getting ready to graduate. By then I loved it so much I stayed for my Masters, and now live just a few blocks away with a job in nearby Clifton Park.

My point is, for some of you the adjustment will be an easy one. You’ll meet the right people, love your roommates, join the best clubs and never want to leave. For others, it’ll be more of a struggle. You’ll miss home, feel lonely and maybe even second guess your decision. My advice for you is to stick it out. (Is that where the expression “give it the old college try” came from??) I unfortunately don’t have tips for how to stick it out other than to take it one day at a time. Go home when you need to but don’t forget to invest time here too.

Looking back now, I have nothing but the best memories at Saint Rose. From my teachers to my classes to the campus to my friends, I would give almost anything to go back and relive it even for a week. It can take time but eventually, and without even realizing it, Saint Rose will become your second home. It’s not a replacement for where you’ve come from – and it shouldn’t be. What you’ll realize is that the experiences you’ll have here will add a whole new level of awesome to the life you already have.

It sounds sappy. I get it. BUT, I feel pretty confident that when you look back, even just five years from now, you’ll feel the same way.

Give it a shot and welcome to the neighborhood.

  4 comments for “Dear Freshmen

  1. Carole Egan
    August 28, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Great article!

  2. August 28, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    Seeing this post brought me back to my first day at St. Rose! (Full disclosure, Valerie and I were classmates. Hi Val!) I remember being so amazed when a gang of smiling, sweaty students came rushing to my parents car to shuttle all of my things to the top floor of Brubacher. I was nervous, but excited.

    Over the next four (erm, or so…) years, my experience at St. Rose was nothing short of incredible. It was a time that I learned the most about who I was and what I wanted out of life. The people that I met and the friends that I made helped to shape not only my college and professional career, but who I have become as a person. I met some of the most important people in my life here (my fiancé included).

    Life moves much faster than you realize and it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day grind. The best advice I can give to any new student is to take a moment, look up, and breathe. Enjoy the ride!

    Strangers become classmates, classmates become friends, and friends help you become the you that you’re meant to be. Cherish these times, no matter how hard they might seem, because they’ll be gone before you know it.

    Good luck, and best wishes to the new Freshmen class of The College of Saint Rose!

    • Valerie Granuzzo
      August 28, 2013 at 5:28 PM

      (Hi Ben!!) I totally agree. Those four years FLY by and there really is nothing like them. And regarding move in day, my parents STILL talk about how impressed they were that they didn’t have to move a single thing in. Smart move Saint Rose. Smart move.

  3. August 28, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    (Hi Ben, hope that all is well with you and Karla!)

    I was feeling nostalgic on Monday when I realized that classes were starting and for the first time in seven years I was not sitting in a classroom at the College, but, was sitting in my own classroom in an elementary school!

    I remember seven years ago when I came to St. Rose. I wan an undecided student who had no real path or direction in his vocational future. I labored through attempting multiple programs before settling on the BA in Music in the beginning of my junior year.

    The friends I made at St. Rose are still valued friends to me. Remember, you professors are great role models and mentors in your career endeavors. Also, they may advise you in other facets of your life, when they see fit. Do not be like me and at the time not value it. Years later I hold that advise that many professors gave dearly and close.

    After four years of undergraduate study I completed a Masters in Childhood/Special Education in three years. (Seven total years at the College, if you are counting) I am now working in Northern Vermont in my first teaching position. The lessons learned, countless struggles, and the values of the Sisters (may sound corny but the Philosophy course I took on the Sisters influenced my teaching practice) impacted me greatly as a person.

    Do not be afraid to take risks, expose yourself to new and interesting things, and stay true to the person you came to St. Rose as. Know that you will join the ranks of us who value our St. Rose education dearly and sometimes get nostalgic and write our memories to encourage others.

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