Today is my ninth official day as a full-time college student, and let me tell you these past 9 days have felt like 9 months. Time in college seems to move by painfully slow, but at the same time it seems to be going at light speed. I feel like I've known my new friends for years, when in reality it's been maybe less than a week. But each day spent, no matter how long or short it felt, makes me wish that time could stand still for a moment.
If you're not one of the 5% of college-bound students who get to go to their top choice school then you're like me; and if you're like me then you may feel how I felt approaching my first week of college: less than hopeful. I had the lowest expectations for my current college because when I had started my college search it had always been at the bottom of the list of places I wanted to attend. But I kept an open mind my first week, did things my reserved-self wouldn't normally do, and I now know that I wouldn't want to be anywhere else than the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (Isenberg School (they made me specify)). I had always dreamed about college in NYC: taking on the Big Apple one step at a time, so being in Amherst, MA definitely wasn't the alternative I had hoped for. But UMass surprised me. It's a city in itself, a city filled with people my age and limitless opportunities.
It's only my second week of school, but with so much going on I feel like I've been here forever. The adjustment can be easy if you're open to it and you make an effort to put yourself out there and make friends. Being apart of the business school I hear the word "networking" a lot more than most, but I've also been networking for years during high school. The first week or two at college is an ideal time to meet as many people as you can and build up your network because everybody is eager to meet new people. Having a strong network can greatly help you down the road when you begin looking toward your future career.
If you're entering your first week of college, or your fifth, or your fifteenth I strongly strongly urge you to get out of your comfort zone. Open yourself up to new places, people, ideas, and activities. You may find something you never thought you could love, and you'll be surprised how easy you learn to love it.
Embrace the new opportunities!