The butterflies in my stomach on the first day of Kindergarten didn’t compare to the monsters lurking around in there when I stepped onto Fairfield’s campus for freshman orientation. I was worried about so many things, and felt like those two days would determine whether I would be happy for the next four years of college.

Some of you may be excited to get away from your hometowns and high schools. You’re ready to meet new people and gain freedom. But some of you might be scared out of your minds to leave everything you know, like I was two years ago.

I came into orientation thinking I had to meet people that would become my new friends away from home. But when strangers didn’t magically transform before my eyes into a college crew, I was devastated. Orientation wasn’t that bad- I talked to a few people (after which instantly forgot their names), went to a dance in the campus center (where I pretended to feel completely normal dancing with strangers), and slept in a stifling dorm room (that resembled a jail cell). I’m not sure I want to admit this to the entire class of 2008, but I cried to my father on the way home. Why did senior year have to end?

I spent the next two months of my summer anticipating the worst. I was sure I would get lost on my way to every class, hate my roommate, and not make any friends. And although I may have stepped into the wrong classroom a few times, had a few minor disputes with my roommate, and messed up names left and right, I also had a fabulous freshman year. Sure, there were times when all I wanted to do was go home in my non-existent car, but I’m glad I didn’t.

Now I’m entering my junior year at Fairfield, and couldn’t be more excited to get back on campus. Summer? I wish summer were over. It’s only June and I’m already counting down the days until I see my friends and get back to college life. These past two years have been the best years of my life.

So if you don’t come away from orientation feeling secure and confident, remember that everything falls into place. There’s no use worrying that you won’t make friends, because it is nearly impossible to go through your freshman year at Fairfield without making any. Remember that every incoming freshman is in the same position: they are just as scared as you, even if they don’t seem it on the outside.

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