Well, today’s the day. The rest of campus moves in and first-year orientation comes to a close. For you lil’ fresh-babies, college continues to become a tangible reality and it’s overwhelming. How are you supposed to get comfortable in your new environment when there are swarms of cool and confident upperclassmen stomping around? Isn’t this their world and you’re just living in it? What is it that makes upperclassmen so scary? We’re here to bust some myths about your newfound community. Hopefully you can make yourself at home with a clearer mind.
- Upperclassmen aren’t interested in getting to know me or my fellow freshmen because a) I’m annoying and b) they all socialize within their classes (not unlike high school). Okay, well maybe you are but chances are you’re not! I hope that was supportive enough. And at least for me, high school friendships were kind of compartmentalized within age groups but those imaginary restrictions don’t exist at Kenyon and you get to meet tons of different people.
- They think I’m so so stupid because they’re so so smart. It’s really easy to feel intimidated and silenced when you’re sitting in class with older students. But you have to remember that this is only a fear, no matter how rational you think it is, and you just have to get over it. You go to Kenyon just as they do, your thoughts are just as valid as theirs are, and having free-flowing discussion in class is rewarding and important! You’re not taking advantage of the small class sizes unless you’re contributing in class.
- But my freshman antics exhaust them! If anything, seeing droves of enthusiastic first years takes us back to our days as freshmen and we feel all nostalgic and warm and also a little sad that time is flying by so quickly. My CA last year made the point that because Kenyon is so small, it’s exciting for upperclassmen to have new faces on campus every year. This was easily one of the most reassuring things I heard in those chaotic first weeks when I felt like a dumb baby who couldn’t do anything, anywhere.
- They work within this unspoken network of rules and etiquette that I haven’t acquainted myself with yet so I’m only an obstruction in their path to collegiate success. To be honest I’m not entirely sure if this was just an anxiety I had or if it was common-place thing. But just know that you will adjust and you will get comfortable here and this anxiety will disappear with time. It’s hard to not feel like an alien, but just know we’ve all been there.
- They are fearless and so much more emotionally stable than I am look at them with all of their friends and how easy everything is for them they are so well adjusted and I feel like a chicken with its head cut off like how am I going to wear my lanyard around my neck without a head oh God I hate college I want to go home!!! The good news is that we don’t have our shit together either. I mean, yes we know which all-campus parties to avoid and where to take the best public naps. But the bad news is that this means NONE of us have our shit together! We’re all running around like chickens with our heads cut off (but in different ways). Please, take comfort in this.
Okay now take all this really valuable advice I just dumped onto you and go into the world with your newfound confidence and charisma!