Orientation holds a myriad of revelations for both freshmen and upperclassmen alike.
Helping first years explore the culture and the campus of the place they will inhabit for the next four years brings back feelings of nostalgia and awakens fear for the looming abyss called graduation.
With each passing day of my junior year, I have noticed a longing to once again be a freshman and to continue my time here at Union.
This feeling is amplified when I recall the future renovations President Stephen C. Ainlay spoke of at Convocation. I won’t be here to see the Science and Engineering project started or completed; I won’t be here when the new Union dining system is compressed into its final, streamlined form.
It is truly amazing how attached you can become to a place after a short two years. While I love our beautifully symmetrical campus, I feel most at home at Union when I reflect on the experiences I’ve had here, the people I’ve met and the opportunities I’ve encountered.
At Convocation, President Ainlay reminded the Union community that “interesting people do exceptionally well” here at Union and beyond. This quote struck me as particularly true.
Every time I guided freshmen around my Minerva House or talked with them about their interests and their beginnings, I realized that they are all interesting people already.
Each high school story, hometown and missed pet is fascinating to me. The barest fact is that Union is a hub of interesting, intellectual people. I suppose that that is why we’ve all come together here on this historic, vibrant campus.
Contemplating the fresh faces I see around campus has led me to wonder how Union has changed me. I still remember my high school, hometown and pets, but something about me must have changed.
The revelation of how I’ve changed hit me exactly when I remembered that I had to write an article for my Opinions section, that I had to go to General Chemistry Help to tutor, that I had to send out the Minerva events as Messa communications chair and that I had to plan Honor Council events.
As a freshman, I never could have managed all these obligations as a responsible individual.
While I enjoyed a blissful first year, I have never felt more right than I do now. Now, more than ever, I feel like I’ve climbed Maslow’s hierachy of needs pyramid to the top, to self-actualization. To the first years: take every opportunity Union offers you to find yourself, and in several years you’ll find yourself in my shoes.