Dodging the Bullet: Adjusting to a New Life
By Amy Milner, Contributing Writer
“Don’t…do anything stupid,” my younger cousin said after pausing to think. It was the morning of my departure to Gettysburg, and I had asked him for some advice, just to see what he would say. I laughed lightly in response, but on the inside I was more nervous and confused than I revealed to others. There was so much I didn’t know: what the cross-country training would be like, whether I would be comfortable in my room, and how I could balance my time between athletics and academics.
I wasn’t going into college completely blind. Leading up to August, many people gave me tips and told me stories about their own time in college. Of course, I appreciated their help, and it gave me an idea of what to expect, but nothing could truly prepare me for what has come and what still awaits. No matter how excited I was, I could not deny that moving to a new place and accepting more responsibility was very daunting.
The world out there is complicated. There are things you can’t know until you experience them because no one’s life is exactly like yours. There are no books and no videos that will tell you precisely what you need to understand. I haven’t been here long, but already I’m certain that the only way to truly learn what the trials and joys of college are like are to live through them myself.
Right from the first day on campus, there’s so much information to take in and so many people to meet that everything happening can easily become overwhelming. But we can take solace in the fact that many of our new classmates probably feel just as we do. I’m not alone, and neither are you.
Editor’s Note: This article is the sixth of the 2018 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. You can read the full series here as well as 2017-18 stories here. (-B. Pontz)