by Justine Trempe
The first year of college is stressful. Then first-year student Georgia Gokiert said in a Campus article last year, “When I arrived on campus, I was so nervous. What if I couldn’t make friends? What if I couldn’t take the stress of university? What if I wasn’t cut out for this?” (Issue of Sep. 16, 2020)
Can you relate?
This initial anxiety at the thought of not fitting in is incredibly strong, and I definitely felt it when I arrived at Bishop’s. That feeling in turn pushed me to participate in a little bit of everything. But now that I look back on it as a fourth-year student, my first year at Bishop’s simply feels like a blur. Everything happened in a frenzy, and I felt like I had absolutely no time to do all the things that were available. You see, Bishop’s offers something — or everything — to everyone. And that’s incredible! You rapidly make friends, get invited to parties, and concerts, develop projects, go to summer classes, do sports… The possibilities really are infinite here.
But one thing I wished someone had told me back then is that it’s also okay to struggle. I only realized that I was when the pandemic forced us all to slow down and I’m incredibly lucky that life put the emergency brakes on for me. But that might not happen to everyone, and it’s important to realize that we’re all only human.
It’s okay to take some time. I should not have tried to be as busy and involved as a third or fourth year right out of the gate. It’s okay to take four classes per semester, to work fifteen hours a week instead of twenty-five (Yes. I greatly overestimated my capacities.), to skip parties and go to sleep early.
You’re not ruining your college experience by saying no.
Taking it one step at a time, eventually, you find your own college experience. And maybe that includes more walks beside the Massawippi in the morning, some cozy studying with a coffee on your lap, maybe you’ll miss some events and only go out every once in a while, because you’re tired and you deserve to sleep, to take the time to cook a meal with close friends, to watch a movie and gaze at the stars. That’s what I’m gonna do.
One morning, you’ll wake up at a decent hour and realize, just like I did, that you did make friends, and got involved on campus, that you’ve done all your readings during that semester, that your grades are up, that you still had fun, and that Bishop’s really feels like home.
Forget the social calendar — there’s no set timeline on life — and just take a breath.
It’s okay to take the time to be you at BU.