"Where are you going to college? What are you majoring in? Are you excited to become an adult?"; as first-year college students, we have all heard these overwhelming questions at one point. As much as we all like to say that we are excited, we are very nervous too. Who can blame us? As 18-year-olds, we have these questions to consider and the stress of leaving old friends, making new ones, moving from your childhood household into a dorm, and having a much heavier workload. To grow as an adolescent into a young adult, we all must go through uncomfortable and challenging times. Don't worry; you're not alone on this journey. Everywhere you turn to look, you will find there is a hand reaching out to help you.
When I look back at my senior year of high school, I had these questions and more. After talking to family, friends, guidance counselors, and visiting and meeting people at Misericordia University, I decided to become a MU Cougar!
I chose Misericordia because, simply put, it feels like home. Growing up in a small town, there were many different norms for me: I adapted to the small classroom setting, familiar faces, close-knit community and much more. When visiting Misericordia, I saw the same thing. I think everyone can agree that we are proud to be Cougars!
One thing I have already learned is that you must be willing to accept the advice and help from others who go out of their way to help push you towards your goals. Your family, for instance, may not physically be with you, but they are just a phone call away. They are waiting for that phone to ring so they can hear all about the exciting things and, yes, sometimes the struggles that are going on in your college life. At MU, counselors are always available to give you advice they wish they would've heard as college students. Professors are also available to provide you with more knowledge on their field of study to better prepare you for an upcoming test. In general, while there will be many struggles throughout this new chapter of our lives, there will also be many opportunities that open up to explore our interests and create a better future for ourselves.
The night before I left for college might have been the most nerve-wracking part of the college experience thus far. It was 10 pm, and I was sitting on my bed, staring at the ceiling, wondering how the summer after senior year flew by so quickly. I remember asking myself, “Was I really leaving for college the next day?” I started to think about what I had left to pack in the car, the hugs I would give to my loved ones, catching one last glimpse of my bedroom, and giving my dog one last big hug until I see him again on Thanksgiving break. Before I knew it, the sun was shining in my room, and the day was finally here! I had butterflies in my stomach, and tears started to form in my eyes; but I kept it together. It wasn’t long after that the car was entering the roundabout, taking a right turn onto Lake Street toward Misericordia University. I remember seeing all the Misericordia signs as I drove through the iconic arch. When I pulled into a parking spot and got everything moved into my room, I realized that I had just begun my journey and am now a Misericordia student.
After being on campus for some time now, I know that most of us agree that Misericordia University is like a family because we are such a close-knit community. From the beginning, all first-year students attended an orientation led by upperclassmen who were orientation leaders; they made the experience exciting. The energy and time put into planning orientation by all involved, especially the orientation leaders, led to an unforgettable experience. As orientation went on, we met with our faculty advisors, Dr. Daniel Myers, University President, and many more inspiring people. Everyone who spoke with us gave us guidance, inspiring words, and a huge warm welcome onto campus. The students I have met at Misericordia show kindness in many ways, even by just saying "hello" or holding the door open for you. Faculty, staff, and students who are part of the campus community definitely make the transition to college life easier while also making it feel like home.
As individuals, we all have a variety of different interests that allow us to stand out. In college, we can express our passions and interests by getting involved in sports and clubs. The extracurricular activities that we are a part of help shape us into better people and allow us to become engaged with our school. Most of us who were involved in sports or clubs in high school continue the tradition in college. If you are not involved in any activities in college, I would highly encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try one out. It allows you to make connections, have more of a structured schedule, and again, express your personality. If Misericordia doesn't have the club that you had in mind, then start one! Make an impact and take advantage of the opportunities that are here at Misericordia. Just don't forget to also make time for your studies!
Have a great semester, Cougars! Work hard for the future that you have always dreamt of. Never forget why you chose Misericordia and the major you are studying, work hard for the dreams you have, find "your group" of people who will support you when times get hard, and celebrate with you when you reach your goals. Lastly, don't forget to make time for yourself and have fun!