The Reality of First Semester Freshman Year
Members of Alpha Omicron Pi share about the realities of the first semester of freshmen year that we all experience!
The first few months of freshmen year feel surreal: All of sudden we are immersed into a world with thousands of other students eager to meet one another and experience everything the next four years has in store. Everyone will say the next years will be the best of our lives, filled with people who will become our bridesmaids and memories that we will carry with us, but what no one will share is the loneliness and confusion that hits after Bid Day. Social media shows us an unrealistic representation of instant best friends, despite most of us feeling conflicted about our decision. As a sophomore AOII now living in the sorority house, I can finally say I have found a group of people to go on Milledge walks, drive late at night to Cookout, and have Pauley’s girl nights with, but it took me almost a year to build these relationships. After talking intentionally with some of my now best friends, we found that we all felt the same way at the beginning of last year: alone. Looking back, I wish I had done more to involve myself in my sorority and around campus, so to the freshman who feels as if she is merely one of thousands of students, this is for you.
1. Do not be afraid to make the first move.
I have repeated these words to every PC ’21 member I have talked to, and it is seriously the biggest piece of advice I can offer. We all wish to feel wanted and loved, but when entering an atmosphere where no one knows anyone, the most important action we can take is to reach out to others. Taking the initiative to organize walks, picnics, study sessions, or movie nights can lead to strong intentional friendships, but someone has to be the one reach out. While the fear of rejection may be scary, it is important to remember others feel the same way as they wait for someone else to make the plans. Be bold.
2. Attend every welcome meeting, sign up for any club, and get involved.
One of my biggest regrets of last year was not getting involved and maximizing the opportunities UGA has to offer. I thought once I joined a sorority, the hard part would be over, that I had already found my community of like-minded people. What I did not understand is how much closer I would get with other people through organizations that mirrored my passions and interests. Through my involvement this year in Grady College as well as Pi Sigma Epsilon, I have connected with older girls in my sorority who I typically would not have collaborated with due to our age gap. In addition, I have grown with others in my pledge class who share the same aspirations as me which has motivated all of us to work our hardest together. So sign up for that committee, attend that welcome meeting, and find somewhere that fits your goals and passions because it will make your experience all the more rewarding.
3. Have patience and be intentional.
Whether you come from a tight knit group of high school friends, or college is your chance to have the relationships you never had before, having patience is vital when furthering your friendships in college. When meeting anyone, there is always going to be the awkward stage, but once you naturally stray away from the typical major and hometown conversations, genuine friendships will form. It is important to remember to stay true to your morals and passions when seeking friendships because you will be an entirely new person after these four years, but the question is who do you want to be and who are the people that will help you grow?
In college, your friends become your family as they see the best and the worst days. Continue to be the best version of yourself and the rest will fall into place. College has been the best experience of my life, but it also has thrown me out of my comfort zone in ways I never could have imagined that have led me to the relationships and memories I have now. If you take anything away from this, remember to give yourself grace through one of the biggest changes of your life and know that so many extraordinary moments are in store.