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First Impressions

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I still can’t believe I’m here. I can’t believe I’m taking college classes, living in a college dorm, and mingling with college students. The whole idea of college is still so foreign to me. A few years ago, I would’ve never imagined that I’d be attending a private Christian university right out of high school. It was always a dream. Yet, here I am, growing in wisdom, challenging my faith, and developing new relationships that will hopefully help mold me into the woman that God wants me to be. It is now my third week of college and I’m still breathing, so that’s good. The transition to college–especially because I moved away to live on campus–was one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my life, but it’s definitely not as difficult as I thought it would be.

I moved on campus a week early as a part of the President’s Scholar Retreat. The campus was glowing, the people were inviting, and the atmosphere felt fresh. I had no clue where to go or what to do first, but there were plenty of people around to guide my parents and me in the right direction. We initially went to my dorm room, inside of a spectacular building called East Hall. My heart was pounding on the elevator ride up until I finally entered my room and saw my roommates for the first time. The Student Life committee had compiled roommate match forms from all of the incoming residents and then specifically chose our roommates for us. My roommates are both President’s Scholars like me, and I could tell they were as nervous as I was. Thankfully, we all seemed to clique pretty quickly, and I feel like we have become pretty good friends throughout the past few weeks. Saying goodbye to my parents was rough, but not as hard as I originally expected because I had prepared myself for a long time. Yes, I did cry, but my situation isn’t too sad because I still get to go home and see my family practically every weekend. I was incredibly anxious that first day, though. Thankfully, there were so many different activities planned that there’s not really much time to be homesick, especially when orientation came around the next week.

Orientation was an absolute blast. Every hour of our schedule was planned out so we were always on the go, but we got to participate in many different events and get to know a ton of new people. My highlight would definitely have to be going to Wild Water Adventure Park the day before school started. The school was generous enough to provide a big party package for all of the freshmen. We were so happy to be there. What kind of school goes to a water park for orientation? I thought to myself: an awesome one!

New Friends

My classes were completely different than I thought they were going to be. The teachers are amazing, as expected. They range in age and expectations, but they’re all very kind and helpful. Most of my classes also have a huge online component to them. So far though, they don’t seem nearly as difficult as I imagined, but they do move fast and require a lot of work. I think I’m going to do well, though. It also helps that the smallest amount of people in a class of mine is 14 and the largest is 30. The class that I’m enjoying the most so far would have to be Self-Defense because it’s action-packed in a unique way and never fails to make me laugh at myself. My most difficult class this semester is probably going to be Chemistry, but I’m not too worried about it because there are multiple resources that offer support like a Supplementary Instructor, tutoring, teacher office hours, and study groups.

Looking back on these past few weeks, I already have numerous positive thoughts to share about my new school. College Hour is amazing. It’s a time to relax and focus on what’s most important to our community: our faith. The music is extremely uplifting and our pastor is hilarious, energetic, and most importantly, on fire for the Lord. This may sound silly, but I also love the dessert in the cafeteria. I now understand where the “freshman 15” comes from! There are so many dessert options, and there’s no limit to how much you can have. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time at the dessert table. I also enjoy all of the opportunities they provide to have fun and meet new people. The school leaders organize a ton of events every month that range from weekend retreats, to Bible studies, to movie nights, to you-name-it. Most importantly, what has stood out to me in my experience so far is that the people in general are friendly to everyone. It’s super easy to make friends here, and I love how everyone knows each other like a community should. I’m so proud of myself and excited to see what this semester holds for me! Pray for me if you can. I’ll keep you updated and write again soon.

Vanessa

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