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The Antelope

Feeling uprooted in college: shifting schedules, routines, friends

Courtesy photo

Most would say that coming to college as a freshman is a tough transition. I’ve even heard someone say that it was alongside the transitions of marriage and having children in difficulty level. 

For me, although living in the dorms and balancing a schedule was different from high school, finding community in that transition came surprisingly easily. 

When I first moved into the dorms, I had a roommate I already knew. It made living on campus less of a shock. As for my suitemates, I knew nothing about them, but I remember walking into their room and mustering all the confidence I could to introduce myself. I saw myself already in a situation that required me to be out of my comfort zone, so I pushed myself to be outgoing and take on where I was.

In the first couple days, we all quickly became friends, almost finding comfort while in a new environment.

After the first semester, circumstances start to change. Schedules change, new friends are made and the first “community” you rooted yourself in starts to shift. At least that’s how it felt to me. 

Sophomore year was a similar story. The school year came around again and I was not living with the same group of people, my hometown friends went back to their colleges and I found myself in a single dorm room all to myself. It wasn’t necessarily depressing, but it felt like starting all over again from square one.

I felt uprooted once again. 

I found myself more likely to stay in and watch “New Girl” on Netflix instead of texting people to hang out. I would go home more often. I would never go to floor socials. 

Looking back now, if I didn’t have a community, why didn’t I make an effort to find one in the situation I was in?

As a freshman, you may be more likely to try new things, even if it’s simply being the first one to introduce yourself to your new suitemates. You see everything as an opportunity for a “new life” or just something different than high school. I think that’s why it was so easy for me to root myself in those around me because everyone on that fourth floor of Centennial Towers West was in the same boat. 

Sometimes comfort can come from those who are in the same situation as you. 

Now as a senior I feel as though I am starting over once again, even if my time in college is coming to an end. Schedules have changed, friends have come and gone and new opportunities are always on the horizon. 

What is different this time is that I am without the impression that community will be given to me when I am not actively searching for it – that if I just stick to my routine, the right people will always fall into that routine miraculously. I realize it doesn’t work like that most times, even when I hope it would. Now, there is a new excitement of learning to adapt in ever-changing times and searching for a community to be rooted in. 

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Corinne Smith
Corinne Smith, Reporter
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