To my fellow freshmen,
At last all of our hard work has led us to transition to the next revolutionary step in our lives. As a new student I arrived on campus full of expectations,wonder and nervousness, an ocean of uncertainty overwhelming me completely. I had everything planned out in my head, every step of the way, but all of that quickly fell apart. And that’s okay.
What I realized is that the best parts of life-and the college experience-come from getting outside our comfort zones and taking chances. Exposing ourselves to a myriad of exciting organizations, classes, and events can, in the long run, lead us onto truly unique and fulfilling paths. As a socially anxious individual, the simple thought of attending a social event is completely nerve-wracking. Fortunately, I had the courage to step out of my comfort zone and meet many interesting people. Joining organizations like Mentality Magazine provides the opportunity for me to expand upon and integrate my passions, such as promoting mental health awareness and writing. Never would I expect this amount of diversity in opportunities. I do believe that there is a place for everyone, but that we’ll have to explore in order to find our fit.
A common issue with out-of-state students is fitting in socially, but on a campus as large as ours even in-state students in the company of a number of students from the same high school can also feel out of place. I am grateful for the close friends that came from areas near to Bloomfield Hills, where I grew up, for providing me with a gracious amount of support. Many people get on campus, however, and don’t have that same support network during this difficult transition. It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Talk to someone. You’re not alone.
A hard truth to accept is the uncertainty about the future. We can think that we’ve got it all figured out, then everything changes when we discover a passion for robotics or music. Or, we can have no idea at all. Knowing and not knowing are both okay. Changing minds is okay, and can actually lead onto a path more enjoyable than we could ever imagine.
Finding and acknowledging what we truly want out of life can be painfully difficult and requires brutal honesty. What you want, what your parents want, what society wants-those can be completely different paths, but ultimately what matters most is if you are happy with yourself.
Wish you well,
Christine A. MacKenzie