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Four Years at the Mount

Freshman year

Life of a Freshie

Angela Tongohan
Class of 2020

(5/2017) Wow. Itís almost the end of my freshman year at the Mount, and boy, was it an adventure. So much has happened within the span of a few months. I met people I could now call my close friends, maybe some I could call my best friends. I experienced my first taste of freedom, without the chains of parents or authority figures. I made my own decisions, and I had to live with my own consequences. Itís been a great first year, and I canít wait for the journey to come.

But as I sit here, reliving my first year in college, I realize the things that I need to do to make myself even better. As a freshman, I still have the excuse of being young, lost, and oblivious. We are given breathing space, a time to adjust to a life so different from living at home. While some students thrive on their own and are able to succeed now that they have only themselves to worry about, other students wither away and crumble, lost in the unfamiliar. I am one of those students.

I didnít do as well as I would have liked to my first year here. It was a tornado of problems: homesickness, actual illnesses, the surrounding pressure to be social. Somewhere between my yearning to be accepted and my 9 a.m. class, I was distracted and lost my way.

Next year, I wonít have the luxury of being a novice. I will be expected to know my way around campus. I wonít have any more excuses. Seniors tell me that it only gets harder. That blew my mind. How could it only get harder when it already was so difficult?

But after a good few weeks of sulking, I realized that this was my chance. I needed to thrive. Next year, I would have to do better. I know what to expect, and I know how to prepare myself. Next year, I will do better.

Now, I know I sound super depressing right now, but freshman year was also a great deal of fun.

They werenít kidding when they said that during college you will have a whole lot of chances to try new things.

My first semester consisted of service trips. I began the school year on the Serve Mountward Bound trip. Ever since I was old enough to understand there were people in need, Iíve always wanted to help them. The Office of Social Justice gave me that opportunity. I cleaned up abandoned yards in Baltimore, prepared supplies for incoming refugees, and learned how to use a weed whacker.

My second semester, I found myself more overwhelmed by school work, but I still hoped to be able to join the trips. College, though, is not only about service trips and helping those in need, although those things are all very self-fulfilling. They also give us the chance to go on trips that are solely meant to be exciting and fun.

Iíve gone on a go-karting trip in Baltimore, and was pleasantly surprised that the go-karts went surprisingly fast. I joined the New York trip, because I couldnít pass off a day in New York for only 25 dollars. And Iíve joined a series of free bowling, mini golfing, and karaoke nights. All the while, I have met great people and enjoyed living life as a student at the Mount.

I like how we have three months of summer between every school year. My roommates believe the summer is like some kind of time machine. Everything dumb or embarrassing that was done freshman year would be magically erased, and our August of sophomore year would be a new slate.

In the future, I feel like my problems now will sound so miniscule. Although, they do seem quite overwhelming at the moment. Next year, I have to start thinking about internships and extra-curriculars, things that would make me a well-rounded student, and prepare me for my career goals.

I will have to declare my major, or double major, if I decide I am still up for the challenge. The only thing I donít have to decide is whether or not to take a semester abroad, because it unfortunately is not offered to those in my major.

I realize that from here on out, my decisions will have more and more meaning. After college, I will need to find a job of some kind. Even if I do decide to go to medical school or grad school, I will probably have some bills to pay.

Things are becoming so real. I feel so close to having to become a functioning adult in society. Itís scary. I know based off talking to friends that are seniors or juniors that is only gets scarier. The real world is creeping up on me, and itís hard to imagine how I would be when Iím not guarded within the walls of our campus.

But I guess that all comes as part of the journey. I need this experience, and possibly on the day of my senior graduation, I will say to myself "Oh, thatís why that all happened!" But, of course, as my inexperienced freshman eyes see, the real world is still far away, and I need to enjoy the present moment.

Read other articles by Angela Tongohan