Welcome to Durham, Wildcat.
The day has finally come. You are here, starting college and reading the school newspaper, so far you’re off to a great start. Moving to a new town, school and surrounding yourself with people you don’t know can be overwhelming. I would know, I was a freshman at UNH just short three years ago and let me tell you, you are in for a great adventure.
When I moved to Durham, I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t like what I was majoring in, I was in a forced triple and I had no idea what I was doing. This campus felt so big and I felt very small. Immediately I was faced with multiple paths, just as you are facing now. Do you join a fraternity or sorority? Do you become a member of a student organization? Which one? How do you choose a major?
If you’re faced with the internal question, “which road do I take?” but don’t know which way to go, it doesn’t matter. Every way is the right way and as long as you’re doing something you’ll start to find yourself.
That is what college is all about, finding yourself. There are so many great opportunities wide open for you at UNH. One of my favorite things about this school is that it is big enough to grow into but not so big that you can never make a mark. Do not be afraid of trying new things and failing. Believe in yourself and have some patience; it takes time to adjust and find what you want to do. Keep calm and breathe, things work out.
With this adventure comes a lot of fun, trust me. This adventure also comes with some not so great times and I’m here to warn you, UNH might get the best of you sometimes. You’ll have classes that kick you down, people that you will not want to face. I’ve been here for three years now and I’m going to let you in on a secret; my three most important realizations of each year. Although you will end up figuring all of these things out on your own, I’m hoping this will help.
Freshman year I learned that it is better to be deeply loved, rather than widely loved. As you are most likely experiencing right now, everyone is somewhat scrambling to find a “friend group” and you could get trapped with people you don’t actually like. You are going to meet so many people, it is pretty unlikely the first person you meet will become your best friend, and they don’t have to be. Don’t feel like you have to stick with anyone. I didn’t meet one of my best friends until my junior year. You don’t need to have 50 best friends or associate yourself with a large group to feel great. I think surrounding yourself with people who care about you and are there for you is the most important part. Find your people.
Sophomore year I learned to always own and know your worth. It’s tough coming to a new school, feeling like a little ant crawling around campus. There are so many groups to join and activities to go do, finding where you feel you belong can be very overwhelming. This was the year I joined The New Hampshire, making graphics and pages. I also started getting more involved in the dance department. Freshman year I was missing a passion. Find something to invest your talents and interests in as soon as possible, or at least start trying different things out.
Junior year I learned that hard work pays off every time. Don’t be shy, take risks and follow your dreams until they come true. I haven’t reached my dream, I don’t even really know what my dream is yet, but I can get there. You need to have confidence in yourself. If you don’t, nothing will happen. Pick yourself up, push yourself, work hard and own your adventure.
This issue was made to help give you a look at what UNH has to offer, but it’s up to you to find exactly what you want. Look at posters around campus, check out Wildcat Link for club meeting times and definitely make sure you go to UDay on Sept. 13.
The most important advice I can give is to be your own person. Make your choices based on yourself and base nothing on what anyone else thinks or wants. This is the beginning of your new life, Wildcat. Choose your adventure.