shaun-85Has it really only been four weeks since I got here?

Though Freshman Orientation week ended merely three weeks ago, I feel as though I have been on this campus for months. The obscure names of each building are immediately recognizable to me, I haven’t even glanced at my schedule in days, and I am a part of a solid group of dinner-buddies that I eat with every night! The girls in my hall are already almost like sisters to me, and my workload is bearable enough (at this point—I don’t know what I will be saying when it comes closer to midterms). It’s amazing how little time it takes to adapt to a new environment if you maintain an open mind and dive right into college life.

Also, as part of my financial aid package, I have begun my designated work-study position. I was lucky enough to get my first choice job; I work in the university library, shelving books and helping out the librarians. A word of advice to high school seniors out there: Work-study is a great way to earn some extra cash—whether it is used for personal expenses or put towards tuition—as well as to get to know more people on campus. This job will not only earn you money, but also potentially provide you with a job reference for future employers after graduation. When you’re applying for work-study, be sure to request a position you enjoy. It’s reassuring to know that it is possible to have at least a small income while still enjoying the benefits of full-time enrollment in a university.

Outside of the onerous realm of employment and academics, it has been refreshing to join a few clubs on campus where I can meet people who share my interests and outlook. A great way to find out about these organizations is through the campus activities fair. Despite attending a rather politically conservative university, I was surprised to find that several of the clubs that I had participated in high school—such as Amnesty International, the GLBT Equality Initiative, and Multicultural Awareness group—were still represented here at W&L.

In the last couple of weeks I have learned that college is not at all as terrifying as it seemed the first time I walked up the four flights of stairs into my dorm room a month ago. I am having an incredible time making friends, taking interesting classes, and creating a new life, and I am positive that it will only get better!