family-915754_960_720.jpgThis post is going to seem like it is directed towards first year students more, but everyone can relate to it somehow. Even if you are not in your first year right now, you have gone through it already here or at some other school. The first year of college is a hard time for many students on campus. For people, like me, that value their family and friends highly, it s hard to be taken away from them for long periods at a time. When looking back and thinking about it, August was such a sad month. Those late night car rides with your friends stopped happening, the family dinners were coming to their end, your friends slowly left because their school started before yours. My family has been very important to me as I have grown up. As I started getting older, I started to see the value of my family
more and more. I realized that no matter what, they would always be there for me. “Friends will come and go, but family is forever.”

It seemed that as I got older, I started to connect with my family in new and different ways because I was no longer a kid to them, I was actually considered to be an adult. This made it so hard to leave my family. I stopped dreading seeing my family for holidays or just for dinner because it actually became nice to see them. It was hard knowing that I was going to be two hundred miles away from them when I was at school. In high school, my friend group slowly started to dwindle in size. At the time, it seemed like having less friends was a bad thing, but I later found that it was better to have less than more. Quality over quantity. The friends that were still around were my true friends. The
ones that I could go to for anything. The ones that would put me before themselves sometimes. I spent almost every day with my close frroad-1030878_960_720.jpgiends over the summer, especially as our time together started to come to an end. Leaving them behind was so hard to because I had no friends at the place that I was heading to.

I remember leaving my house, saying my last goodbye’s. Goodbye bed, goodbye house, goodbye Long Island. I sat in the car for three and a half hours and just thought about all of the possibilities that were in front of me. It was my chance for a new beginning, new friends, new school, new opportunities.

Like many freshman, I came to college feeling like it was going to be hard to make new friends. I guess I didn’t take into consideration that there are 17,000 students on this campus, which means that there are 17,000 opportunities to make a new friend. Since I am on the track team, I had a set of new friends set out for me before I got here. My teammates would be my family away from home since we go through so much together. All of the blood, sweat, and tears that we would leave at practices and meets where we would spend hours together. We had no choice but to become friends taken the fact that we spend so much time together. The friends that I have made here aren’t just limited to my teammates though. I have come to be line-609713_960_720.jpgfriendly with the people that live nearby in the dorms. Coming from Long Island, it was easy to find a couple of people that were from there too. There was someone that lived down the hall from me that was actually from the town over from me, and we have become good friends since move in day.

Coming to college and leaving my friends and family at home was hard for me to do. The fears of being alone in such a big place scared me. As I started meeting new people and gaining new friends, I started to see that other people felt the same way that I did. Some people came from different states, some people came from different countries. Most of us left something or someone back at home that meant so much to us. Finding something or someone new is all about the experience of college and the beginning of our new life.

About the Author:

Joe DJoe D.
Class of 2019
Major: Intended - Business Administration
Spring 2016 Blog Theme: Where I'm Coming From

Established in March 2015, Project MyStory is a community building effort to help students better acclimate to UAlbany and to work more effectively toward their goals. We began in UAlbany’s Academic Support Center (ASC), where you will see many of the posters featured above. We are now co-housed in ASC and in the Center for International Education and Global Strategy (CIEGS).

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