BostoNU: September, a time for change and chances

By Amanda Cedrone

September is a roller coaster of a month, especially if you’re a freshman. You not only say goodbye to summer, but to everything back home that’s familiar. It means exciting things too, of course – a new city, new friends and being on your own.
Originally, I was filled with the latter emotion in the months leading up to my freshman year. Coming from a small town in upstate New York, I couldn’t wait to get to Boston. I love where I come from, but I felt destined for bigger things.

All summer I repeated the same mantras, “I can’t wait to get to school,” “I’m going to meet so many new people,” “I need to be in the city.” A sweaty afternoon of moving, organizing and a trip to Bed Bath & Beyond later, I finally got what I wanted all summer: my independence.

But within the first week, being alone in the city suddenly didn’t seem so glamorous. I was by myself in a place I hardly knew with nothing familiar to comfort me. So many thoughts ran through my head. What was I thinking? Why did I chose to come to a place so drastically different than what I was used to?

What I didn’t realize is that most freshmen will go through a similar experience as this at some point during their first year. It’s not uncommon to question if you made the right choice, if the people here can ever live up to your friendships at home, or if you’ll ever truly feel like you fit in.

But you’re not the only one who feels this way, and it’s important to respond to these thoughts rather than give in to them. Trust me, I learned the hard way.

I went home almost every weekend freshman year. I didn’t have a problem with my roommates, or the city, I just liked the familiarity of home and having my friends and family there. I didn’t even take the time to become involved in clubs, because I had convinced myself that I was too busy keeping up with my school work. In reality, I was just resisting the transition to my new life at Northeastern.

Come sophomore year, I was still really unhappy at school. I felt like I had no connection to Northeastern, let alone Boston. Looking back, it’s not hard to see why. Weekdays were spent just trying to get through to the next day, waiting for weekends. On weekends I was dreading Sunday night, when I would leave home.

It took me until the end of sophomore year to notice the vicious cycle I created for myself. I needed to take control of my life. I needed to stop being passive and become proactive.

To start, I got a part-time job, which required me to stay on campus more often. I also joined The Huntington News, and that forced me to be social and productive during my free time. And finally, I reached out. I asked people who used to be acquaintances to go out to dinner or catch a movie with me sometime. It was much easier to make friends than I had let myself believe.

I am now a junior and couldn’t be happier. I just got back from a five-week study abroad program in Italy. The people I used to consider acquaintances have turned into my best friends. I am one of the many editors for The Huntington News, and the staff here has made me a better writer, not to mention become my extended family. Finally, I know Boston and all it has to offer like the back of my hand.

When I walk around campus, I’m always waving to someone or stopping to chat. People actually know me. I still look forward to the weekends, but it’s so that I can spend time with my friends exploring the city. Northeastern finally feels like home to me.
As many of you know, Boston is a great city, and Northeastern really does have an extraordinary amount to offer you. So don’t do what I did and let your insecurities stop you from living life to the fullest. Put yourself out there. Join a club, meet some people and start solidifying the relationships that will last you a lifetime.

A lot of my friends wish they came to Boston for college, and others are looking at coming here after they graduate. It’s an amazing city with so much to offer, so make sure you take advantage of it sooner rather than later.

– Amanda is a junior journalism major and a member of the news staff

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