Tuesday, June 25, 2019

My Freshman Experience at Providence College

Hey everyone! Today, I wanted to talk about my first year at Providence College, and how I made the most of my time there. This is more of a serious post, but I will have some new posts and videos up this week!

First, I want to talk about my expectations for what college was going to be like. I thought that every freshman would want to be open to making new friends and talking to people. I thought it would be super easy to make friends and find things to do.  Right off the bat, people weren't super welcoming from my own grade (class of 2022). Yes, the orientation leaders were super sweet, but the people in my orientation group who did a pre-orientation program (basically moving onto campus five days before me) were not as welcoming as people who just moved in on the same day as me.  Moving in is hard, especially when you aren't close to home, and so everybody probably was nervous about what was to come. Starting college was particularly hard for me because I felt like I didn't belong for the first for a long time. I didn't relate to a lot of people in the way I thought I would, I cried a lot during my first few months, and overall was depressed. Granted though this time, I met some wonderful people like my roommate (who I absolutely love) and some of my super close friends (Alex, Becca, and Colleen I'm looking at you). Those people have stuck by my side and have continued to be good friends to me.

I would say my biggest tip for anyone going to college is to remember that the first people you meet don't have to be your best friends. I know that the original people I was friends with are going to see this in some way, so I am going to keep this part short. Deep down, I think they are nice people; but it wasn't meant for us to be close. It doesn't have to be a malicious fight to break up the group, but if you feel uncomfortable or uneasy by the actions of the people you are hanging out with or the way they treat people; it's completely okay to have other friends.

I made the bulk of my friends starting February (literally five months after move in!) through Providence College Television and my roommate. These were all people who had been nice to me from the beginning of the year, but it took me being treated poorly by others to realize how good the people around me are. The friends I made the second semester helped me come out of my shell more by going to parties (especially Natalia causing me to go out on Wednesday nights), having movie nights in our rooms, making videos for PCTV, going to Thayer Street, and so much more. My last night on campus I was surrounded by so many friends who I know I will have for the next few years. Good friends are hard to find, and particularly hard when everyone is 17-20 years old and freaking out about being at college. The friends I made the second semester made me feel at home at school, and made me start to love Providence College even more. I couldn't have grown as much as I did without the help of Colleen and all the other people who stuck with me. From March on was when I started to be absolutely happy at Providence, and that's when I started to make vlogs because I wanted everyone to see how my school is such a great place. Although it's tough not being happy at your school until March, when things are good they are so good. I've been told that you continue to meet more people during sophmore year, and I am so excited to feel more at home at Providence and take on the second year with my friends.

I spent a lot of freshman year comparing my experiences to those of people from home. Social media was incredibly toxic to me because I would constantly question why everyone was having a great time but me at their schools. I did have fun times on campus during the first semester, don't get me wrong, but I was constantly not in a good mental place. I would be so upset that my friends from home seemed to be having the time of their lives. This caused me to not live in the moment during the first semester because I was so obsessed with how everyone else was doing. My wake up call was when a friend from home told me it seemed like I was having "the best time" because on social media it was just me at parties, even though that was a facade for how I really felt. In January, I tried out for Orientation Leader, Friars Club, and Board of Programmers; and got rejected from all of them. My school doesn't have Greek Life, so I thought this would be my in to make more friends. During the interview process, I came to the conclusion that I was saying all the "right" things about how I loved Providence College without actually feeling it. Being rejected from all the clubs was hard, but it was what I needed in order to focus on making more friends, not being obsessed with friends from home's lives, and start living in the moment. I, immediately, started putting more effort into PCTV and the people within that club. That was one of the clubs I knew I wanted to be in from the time I first got accepted to the college, and I knew that is where I needed to put my passion and efforts into. In February, Colleen and I got the 12am-2am radio slot for WDOM 91.3 Providence and would do a two-hour show called "Cracked Up" where we would play alternative and indie music. Almost every single time we did our show, people would come and visit us and hang out, and this made me so happy. Some of our friends came almost every week and would even text us when they couldn't come. This was part of the turning point of the year I mentioned before.

Now, I am going to talk about how academically my year changed. I spent a lot of high school thinking I wasn't that smart, but in college, my mentality about my classes changed. I went in as a Marketing major, and the first semester I took solely business classes and Western Civilization (I have posts up already about my classes).  Business classes are hard in the sense that high school doesn't prepare you for it. I had to put a lot more effort into my classes in order to do well, but I wasn't at all interested in some of the topics. I did well the first semester, but I could do better. Second Semester, I started taking an English class; and that's when something clicked inside me... I needed to be an English major. I've always loved writing and reading, and the whole first semester I only wrote two essays. After about a month of taking Intro to Literature, I emailed the head of the English department and within the week I had declared a double-major with Marketing and English. I was warned that this would be a hard thing to do since there is very little overlap between the two subjects, but I couldn't stop smiling. I was finally going to study my favorite subject.

In my other posts, I've talked about the best parts of about college like constantly learning new things, meeting new people, going to academic events, exploring a new city, attending concerts and sports events and so much more. I did feel like I was lying at times because I was having such a hard time, but now I am so happy to be at Providence College. I know some people have a great experience from the start, but as someone who struggled; I can now come to say "I love friartown'. I can do a post in the future about things I love about the school because there is so much. Being surrounded by people who are supportive and uplifting, studying topics I enjoy and focusing on finding happiness has changed my whole perception of college and made the last three months incredible. The proof is in the vlogs, and I am so excited for people to see a side of me where I am enjoying my time.

Although I don't go back to college until August, I have so much hope and excitement for what the next years have for me. I don't think I will ever feel as sad as I did my first semester because I've seen a light in all the hardship. I know there are challenges for me in the future, but after the year I've had; I am so ready to take them on.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
xx
Christina Madeleine


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4 comments

  1. It can be difficult when you start somewhere new, I struggled to make friends when I started university xx

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  2. My university experience wasn't the greatest but my best friends were all met at different stages. One was literally the very first person I met but others took time X

    Sophie

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  3. I'm so glad you managed to settle into college life. My university experience was definitely up and down, especially with friends. My best friend from my first year suddenly despised me in the second year, and we lived together which was really tough. But you're right, you can still find so many other people and have a lot of fun. I hope your next year is even more wonderful for you!
    Beth x Adventure & Anxiety

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