As April approaches, Fairfield will become the host to newly accepted students from all over the country. April happens to be one of the biggest months for seniors, as this is typically crunch time before the long-anticipated May 1 deadline. Looking back on our experiences as we entered Fairfield as freshmen, there are aspects of college life that we wish we knew then.

For starters, Fairfield University Student Association and Campus Ministry aren’t the only clubs on campus despite what those white folders tell you. Although there are over 80 clubs on campus, most aren’t widely publicised, so when it comes to the fall activities fair, signing up for virtually as many clubs as possible is your best bet, even if you just go to the first meeting for the pizza. Fairfield has a club for virtually anything from fitness to accounting. It’s said time and time again, but getting involved on campus is the easiest way to find your way.

Then when it comes to housing, one of the things that distinguishes Fairfield from other schools is the process of a random roommate your freshman year. One usually associates random housing with a fear of the unknown, but in actuality, the process helps broaden your outreach to new people and explore new interests. Coming from those who have roommates for a couple years, we can all say sometimes it’s easier living with a random roommate over living with your friends.

One of the most important things to remember is that everyone’s first week is stressful. Spoiler alert: it does get better. Sure, you may be crying on the phone to your parents and refuse to communicate with anyone, but sure enough, those awkward Barone invitations will make you and the people around you much stronger. Going home or calling mom and dad every night doesn’t make it easier, so just push through it.

Perhaps one of the most important lessons you will learn; however, is that the stigma of the “Fairfield Stereotype” does not actually exist. Although you do have many people who dress preppy and rep Vineyard Vines as if it were a lifestyle, know that it is OK to dress like yourself and wear clothes based on what you can afford. You don’t need to fake your way to seek the approval of others.

What we thought we knew entering as freshmen and what we know now are two different perceptions, with only one truly reflecting reality at Fairfield. In the tale of two Fairfields, your first critiques of the campus will never reflect your overall enjoyment during the next four years at this wonderful academic institution.

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