Where’s the time gone?
I swear, just a few weeks ago I was at orientation walking out Talley Student Center with some people I met with a cream soda in hand towards Lee Residential Hall to pick my stuff up and head back to Charlotte.
Shortly after that, I was moving into Metcalf Hall and heading to the Court of North Carolina for my first class, English 101 (how stereotypical, no?). Then came exams, and second semester. Move out and summer. A move back into Metcalf for sophomore year.
Now, I’m living on a different campus of the university, in a different major, and substantially busier than I was Freshman year. But somehow I forgot the passage of time. Normally, I have time to sit back and enjoy Wolfpack Welcome Week by doing nothing. However, this time I had to scramble to pull strings and get people to volunteer at the booth for the Clown Nose Club, getting course materials together and attend officer meetings.
Still, I’m having fun!
Freshman year is a magical year, while it might not *quite* be like the movies, in many ways it is similar. There’s a reason that most college-themed movies don’t focus past that first year: Sophomore, Junior, Senior, and maybe Super Senior years don’t quite capture that magic that Freshman year has.
What’s the difference?
My Freshman year, I knew nothing. After convocation, my friends and I were STARVING as we hadn’t had dinner yet. At 8:45pm at NC State University, the options for food are boundless: while the dining halls are closed, The Atrium, Talley Student Center, Hillsborough Street, and Western Blvd. await with plates of food bursting at the seams.
Not knowing, we went to a C-Store and bought (admittedly crappy) C-Store food. The end result? My roommate got sick, leading to a fun encounter with a drunken suitemate.
Today, I know all of the best places to eat on and off campus–and with cars accessible, even those places that are further off campus. With a kitchen all my own, I can whip up my own concoctions and recipes at usually a fraction of the cost.
In all, one of the main reasons that freshman year is so magical is the clumsiness that comes wit being a new person in a new school in a new city. Having to relearn how to adapt our lives to this new area and experience is the wand that makes that first year so amazing.
As a junior, I still have those moments when I look up at an academic building and feel pride and disbelief at being a student at this university. However, that bumbling magic that was there during my freshman year is replaced with knowledge and experience. Knowledge about where to go for what. Knowledge about who to talk to to get something done. Knowledge about the school.
For you current sophomores: don’t fret the loss of the magic and keep building yourself up to the person you want to be.
For you high school seniors: look forward to the enchantments that will capture your imagination and memory during your freshman year.
For you current freshman: enjoy the magic while its at its strongest. Because next year, you’ll be used to it all. But it doesn’t mean you have to hate it. By finding new reasons and rediscovering old reasons why you chose to go the school you do, magic is always just a doorway away.