24 June, 2005
Work has been going well. Tuesday night and last Thursday night, were the first two Gateways Summer Orientation dates. I worked late on those nights to help out with the language placement exams in the MRC (Multimedia Resource Center). During the first session, I ran into Erin, who had stayed with Colleen and me last semester. Watching all of the incoming freshmen line up for their exams and mingle awkwardly with other incoming students brought me right back to my own Gateways orientation. I remember the butterflies in my stomach all weekend. I had no idea what to expect. Filled with innumerable firsts and introductions, orientation was almost stressful because everyone was trying to make friends, find their way around campus and wonder whether or not they made the right decision—all at the same time! Choosing what college to attend is a huge decision. I had it in my mind that orientation would portray exactly what Holy Cross was about for me, and that I would know whether or not I had made the right choice during orientation.
Well, it didn’t quite work out that way for me. I found orientation to be rather overwhelming—all the seminars, the handshakes and polite introductions, awkward conversations and intimidating speeches. However, that’s life—nothing is easy and not everything can be just as we expect it to be. Orientation didn’t exactly calm my fears about college; however, I went along with all the events anyway.
When the fall came around, that orientation was slightly different. I realize now how fortunate we were to have a fall orientation—without which the hallmates probably wouldn’t have opened up to each other quite as quickly. Fall orientation kept all of us busy and kept our minds off of home and our high school friends, focusing us on our new “homes” and friends.
Actually, after the Mass of the Holy Spirit—which took place the day we moved in—I said goodbye to my parents and was whisked away by orientation leaders. Honestly, the next time I thought about home wasn’t until I went to bed at night—there simply wasn’t time! Everything seemed to fall right into place after that first day. I was no longer sad about leaving home to attend college. Instead, I loved it.
In a matter of time, the girls on my hall and I had become friends and we were finally opening up to each other. Late nights led to conversations in which we shared our initial fears of college. It seemed as if we had all cried during the days leading up to the move-in, and experienced similar emotions.
College is a big transition, for everyone. Yet, the fact that everyone is going through the same transition together makes the experience much easier. At Holy Cross, the upperclassmen, your fellow students, and all the faculty and staff are looking to make this a memorable time of your life.
I can honestly say that I could not have chosen a better college for me—Holy Cross was a perfect match. Of course, there were ups and downs, but through it all, the bonds we’ve made have held strong. By Christmastime, moving home for a few weeks proved a sad time, but for a different reason than the sadness we may have experienced when we moved in. Rather than being worried about classes and meeting people, we hated leaving the new family we had become.
By springtime, this place, with all those beautiful brick buildings that we once found daunting, had become more than a school to us. We now recognized the buildings as homes to our good and bad memories. Rooms in Haberlin were home to some pretty difficult chem tests, while dorm rooms in Mulledy and tables in Kimball remind us of good laughs and great stories. Throughout the year, I feel that I changed and grew along with the friends I made. We experienced some difficult times, but also made wonderful memories. Situations caused me to learn more about myself as well as the people around me. My confidence in myself has increased greatly, and I’ve learned more about who I am and the type of person I want to be. I think we all experienced some of these changes, which is what made our year so great.
I can only hope that my next three years here are half as good as the past one!