Dodging the Bullet: Nearing the End of the First Year
By Sam Shourds, Staff Writer
My name is Sam Shourds, and I am a freshman in college… a freshman… in college. I still have to remind myself everyday that I am, in fact, a college student, even after a semester and a half. I left high school, my hometown, and my childhood behind to be here at Gettysburg College for the majority of the next four years of my life. Yikes.
In the very beginning, the prospect of growing up and being on my own terrified me more than anything. I had no idea what to expect, and everything in my world was going to be different. I would be forced to live on my own, make a whole slew of new friends, take college classes! How could all that be expected of me? It was absurd!
Flash forward 7 months and I’m still alive, and doing better than I ever thought I would be. Gettysburg College and the surrounding town isn’t a scary, new place anymore. It’s beautiful, and I’m surrounded by opportunities and people who want to help me succeed. I’m living on my own and I’ve managed to make new friends and pass all of my classes (thus far).
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still terrified of what the future holds, but at least I’m here and working hard to prepare myself for whatever will come next.
In addition to classes ranging from Environmental Studies to Introduction to Drawing, I joined many clubs during my first semester here that have been extremely influential to me and my college experience.
One of these clubs is a group called Upscale A Cappella, and, well, we sing in this club. A lot. Now I bet you’re sitting there wondering if this a cappella group is similar to those you’ve probably seen in Pitch Perfect.
Although we don’t have riff-offs (I should really suggest that) or crazy a cappella drama (thank God), we do sing fun, current music and I’ve met some amazing role models through the experience. I know it’s cheesy, but music brings people together! It’s a fact.
Another club I joined was The Gettysburgian (surprise, surprise!). Right away, I felt comfortable among the staff, and I was happy to learn that becoming a staff writer was something anyone could do and the hours were very flexible. I could choose the articles I wrote to fit my interests and aspirations as a journalist.
Yet another musical, flexible club I joined my first semester was the Gettysburg Radio program, 91.1 WZBT, Your Gettysburg Address for the Best Music (that never gets old). For two hours every week, my friend Danielle Sicotte ‘22 and I co-host two shows, Sam’s Jams and Harshmellow.
We get to play whatever music we like (as long as it is clean) and man the state-of-the-art studio on our own twice a week. Basically, it’s awesome. It provided me with something to look forward to every week and a way to express myself by sharing the music I love with listeners in the nearby area.
So, yeah, Gettysburg is pretty great when it comes down to the opportunities everybody has to pursue their interests and meet new people in the process. Pushing myself to get out of my dorm room and partake in these clubs and escape from my studies for a little while has gotten me through this past semester and a half, and my future as a Gettysburgian and beyond is looking pretty good from here.
Editor’s Note: This article is part of the 2018-19 edition of our series “Dodging the Bullet: The First Year Journal,” in which The Gettysburgian‘s staff members from the Class of 2022 share stories, reflections, and perspective on their first year experience. (-M. Neiman)