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
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.