As my freshman year here at Wittenberg draws to a close, I often find myself amazed at how different my life is now. I came here to Springfield, Ohio from a very small town in Southern Maine. My life transitioned from complete dependence and familiarity, to absolute independence and a city of strangers.
I was so scared when my Dad dropped me off nine short months ago, and now I don’t want to leave. It’s the Wittenberg bubble; it does that to you. It draws you in, gives you a new life and makes it so hard to leave. I have learned so much these past two semesters, and I can sum it all up in three words: it goes fast. It feels like just yesterday I was that scared little freshman trying to find her way to class without getting lost. But now, I take the back way because I know where I am going and I can almost go anywhere on campus and recognize at least one person.
That’s the best part of a small school; it’s like a second family. Why go somewhere where you’re just a number when you can be part of something so much more? Being a Tiger is so much more than being a student or being an athlete; its being part of a big picture. Its being part of a unique experience that tailors itself to each person and their future. I am only a freshman, and the thought of graduating in three short years is only slightly less intimidating when I remember I get to be an alumni of a great school that honors its past.
I often look at who I was before Wittenberg and I don’t recognize my current reflection in the mirror. I not only dress and talk differently, but I act differently, too. My comfort zone was very limited before college, and I thought I was pretty happy living inside the box. Boy, was I wrong. I have done so many things I never would have dreamed before, and I can honestly say I have never been happier.
In closing, if I had to give a piece of advice to any incoming freshman, I would tell them to try new things and embrace the freshman 15. As Channing Tatum said, “Life is too short to miss out on the beautiful things like a double cheeseburger.” I dove into college head first and took some chances, never looking back. Make a few mistakes and do some stupid stuff, because now is the time to discover yourself. Surround yourself with people and things that make you happy, and I promise you won’t regret it.