My First Year Experience
What to expect, what not to expect, and some balm for first-year anxiety
3 min. read
July 30, 2014

Everyone’s first year at university is completely unique, whether you are living a million miles away from home, or just up the road. For a lot of students, you are leaving behind everything you’ve ever known. For me, that was definitely the case. Being home-schooled all my life, I never had the opportunity to attend school, I also have always lived with my family, and have never had a “real job” (other than babysitting/nannying). After arriving at Redeemer, I said goodbye to my family, moved into my dorm (with seven complete strangers), started a job at Refresh, and the next day, I had my very first classroom experience. It all was quite overwhelming.

“Launch was a great way for me to meet new people. I am a pretty outgoing guy, and made it my mission to become close friends with everyone on my Launch team, as well as my awesome Launch leaders.”

My first class was Psychology 121. I sat with one of my porchmates, and a dormmate. Neither of whom I knew at all, other than the fact that their names were Heather and Ben, but at least they looked kinda familiar.

Launch was a great way for me to meet new people. I am a pretty outgoing guy, and made it my mission to become close friends with everyone on my Launch team, as well as my awesome Launch leaders. I loved the get-to-know-you games, as well as the Redeemer challenge, and the pizza party.

Everything was pretty uneventful until my second week. You see, I have pretty severe asthma, and I occasionally have to take my inhaler. It’s pretty loud, and definitely not cute, so I decided that I would just go out into the hall and take my inhaler to save myself the embarrassment of taking it during class.

Being homeschooled, my only knowledge of school came from what I saw in TV and movies. In “Mean Girls” there is a scene where Lindsay Lohan’s character casually walks out of the classroom to use the bathroom and gets in trouble, it’s super embarrassing, and I definitely did not want to pull a Cady Heron, so I waited until the class broke up into small groups and walked up to the professor and asked her if I could have a “hall-pass” (is that even a real thing?), she looked at me like I was crazy. It was actually the most embarrassing moment of my life. Fortunately for me, I explained the situation to the professor, and she thought it was hilarious.

My first few weeks at Redeemer were filled with new beginnings. I am not going to lie and say everything was perfect, there were definitely many ups and downs, but I survived. By November, I didn’t even want to go home on the weekends, and by second semester I considered Redeemer to be my home. Now that I’ve graduated, I look back and laugh at how crazy I was to be intimidated by the people at this school.

About the author: Colin is a recent graduate of Redeemer (Class of 2015). While at Redeemer, he was a member of the Launch team.

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