By Phoebe Doscher, Staff Writer
As my first semester at college draws to a close and finals season approaches, I am, like many others here at Gettysburg, tired and excited to return home for the holidays.
But at the same time, I feel euphoria and pride in myself for all I have accomplished and all I have yet to do in the following seven semesters at this school.
When I think back to my first week at Gettysburg, I was emotional over being away from my family for the first time and already extremely busy.
Even just during orientation, before classes had started, first-year students attended activities and played bonding games so that we could get immersed in the campus community for the first time.
Our days were filled to the brim with new people, new places, and always something to do.
Now, I realize that some things have not changed between now and my first week at college. Sure, the places and people are no longer new, but there is always something to do.
I took the opportunity to seek out clubs and activities that I knew I would love. Now, I’m beyond grateful to fill each day with things I’m passionate about.
In fact, some of those opportunities were in areas I had never tried before.
Regardless, I challenged myself to take advantage of them.
One of those opportunities was an improvisation, or improv, game at the Owl and Nightingale Players’ orientation event. I have done theatre in the past, but I have never enjoyed improvising onstage without a script or a plan of what to do next.
Gettysburg’s welcoming atmosphere inspired me to volunteer for an improv game. I got up there, in front of people that I did not yet know, and performed a comical scene, completely on the spot.
My future classmates laughed and filled me with a sense of belonging. Towards the end of the semester, one of those friends, a senior, wrote me a letter, reminiscing about the time I made him laugh during orientation.
All of my experiences here have been like this improvisation performance: some opportunities are impromptu and scary, especially if I have never tried them before. But they have all ended up being completely fulfilling.
I never expected to end up in a place where I could follow so many avenues centered around my passions, but every new day is another opportunity to do the things I most love. Even the challenging, new experiences are exciting and help me to grow the most.
As for next semester, I hope to continue to fill my days with things I love to do, and even challenge myself to do more.
Right now, I am involved in activities around my intended majors: Theatre and English. But next semester, I want to try doing things that are out of the box, and not necessarily in my comfort zone.
I am ready for all next semester, and the following years, have to bring.
Editor’s Note: This article is part 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.