UNITED STATES—For so many people, the first day of school is fast-approaching and it can be nerve wrecking for so many. I want to particularly talk about the issues that so many freshman encounter rather its high school or college. I mean I could share with you all the tale of my first day of preschool, where I was an absolute and utter mess and I mean absolute mess people, not in a good way at all. However, I think the freshman day jitters is something many of us encounter, especially those in high school, but even more in college.

With high school it was nerve wrecking because I was attending a school where I didn’t know anyone; well, let me take that back. I actually knew my older brothers who were seniors, but as I tell people time and time again, sibling rivalry is a thing and my brothers didn’t want to be caught hanging out with their freshman brother. Did it suck? Yes, but you get over it. I would say a few weeks in, I got accustomed to my new environment and it wasn’t as bad as I thought because there were many faces from my past that actually ended up attending the same school as me so that helped.

There is always that constant fear as a freshman that you’ll be taken through the ringer by the older kids particularly the seniors who are known for making the lives of freshman and those underneath them a living hell, but that really wasn’t the case. I think that was just something people said to instill a bit of fear in you. Well, college is a different. Why? Well for me I was the first in my family to go to college, so I didn’t have anyone who could provide me with a blueprint or guide on how to tackle such issues.

All I could remember as I was about to venture into Michigan State University as an undergraduate was the fact that I was nervous as hell. The closer that I got to orientation and the closer that the semester got I was on edge. I had major anxiety and I wasn’t certain if I would be able to overcome it. I did have friends who were also attending the university, but you’re talking about a school with over 45,000 students; that is a lot of people America. Once I got to the university it became a lot less stressful. I got to see the environment first hand and I was able to move into my dorm and make it my own. That was very important. Why? You start to make connections and become acclimated to your culture.

My first day of class was a bit nerve-wrecking as I utilized a map to navigate to my classes. I would argue after the first week I no longer needed the map and I was well aware of where all my classes where. You start to build bonds with people in your classes and even better if you have a classmate in more than one of your classes you bond even more. It is always a great thing to have someone who can show you the ropes if possible. I didn’t have that as a freshman in high school or college, but I was able to pass that knowledge off to others including my younger sister and most recently my niece who is kicking off her freshman year of college at my Alma Matter.

Would I say she was nervous? To some degree, but I would argue more so with her courses than her social life or navigating the campus. I always tell people visit the campus or at least take a day and really walk around the campus and explore it so you become comfortable with it. There is no worse feeling than getting lost and having no idea where you are and having to ask others to help point you in the right direction. Don’t feel embarrassed it happens to the best of us and in doing so you might even build bonds with complete strangers that you never expected. The anxiety is the norm of starting that first day of school for anyone regardless of how long you have been attending the establishment, even if you have pals, you might have that fear of what teacher or professor will be the one for hell i.e. who is going to test you in ways that you never expected in the academic arena.

The goal here is to point out that those first day jitters are expected more so for freshman than everyone else. I’d say after a week or two you become comfortable, you start to develop a patter and become acclimated to your environment. College is that opportunity to gain your independence and get the opportunity to make something of your life and build a character for yourself that others may not know exists.

Written By Kelsey Thomas