All students worry about what life in college will be like. We wonder if we’ll make friends, if we will enjoy our classes, and if we will genuinely like the experience. However, an underrated concern most of us do not realize we harbor is whether or not our peers will be kind. Sure, we may love our major and campus, but if the people we spend each day with are not pleasant or respectful, our supposedly wonderful and transformative college years will be badly tainted. Entering college with this concern at the forefront of my consciousness, I soon realized this worry was in vain.
From the moment I came to Ithaca, I have been treated with nothing but kindness and compassion. People willingly help you when you ask for directions, they’re available when you knock on their door asking a question, and they immediately welcome you into their already close-knit friend groups. Personally, I never had this in high school. My peers formed their friend groups at a young age and I struggled to find a place where I fit in. As a self-proclaimed introvert, I did not mind spending time by myself or with one other person. However, there were times where I envied those around me who walked in a pack or shared a multitude of inside jokes with each other. I found myself wondering what it would be like to share my experiences with someone other than myself. To be quite frank, I didn’t know if I would find that fantasy at Ithaca. I was not sure I would meet people with whom I instantly bonded and shared interests with because that was not something I was accustomed to. That self-doubt I nursed upon my arrival was obliterated by the people I met. Instantly, I discovered people who shared my love of food, terrible reality television, classic movies, and Star Wars. I found friends who valued witty conversations, laughing at the simplest occurrences, and quiet moments alone. Over time, I began to realize I had inside jokes, I had a dependable and kind group of friends, and I had memories and silly stories to regale my family with. When you enter a new environment—especially one as challenging and life-altering as college—you can never be quite sure what your experience will be like. There are a multitude of variables present which can drastically affect how you adapt to college. Fortunately, I can now deem one of those variables obsolete.