The people you’ll meet

There are billions of people in this world, and the sad fact is that you’re never going to meet all of them; it’s just not possible.  But, on the other hand, you’re going to get an incredible opportunity to meet a TON of people when you’re in college.  A lot of the people will come into your life and leave within the next couple of years, but then there are the people you’ll meet who’ll be around for at least a decade or more.

This past week my boyfriend, who I met through a mutual friend out in California (long story short, don’t rule out those people you hang out with for a short period of time, they can connect you with the best people!), came out from San Diego to visit.  We decided to go to Niagara Falls for his first time.  In Niagara, we met up with my old roommate from last spring semester (2008) at Paul Smith’s College.  Jena and her girlfriend live in Buffalo, NY, and I’ve been up to visit her several times since she and I were roommates.  All though we were only roomies for a semester, we built a great relationship to where we can go for weeks without talking to each other but basically pick up right where we left off the last time we saw each others.

The same goes for my best friend Adam, who lives in San Antonio, TX when not at school in the Adirondacks.  He and I met at PSC, freshman year, and have been close friends ever since.  We see each other several times a year, but we can still have conversations when we see each other as if we were never apart.

That’s the best part of college friendships.  You go all school year with your friends at college, hanging out all of the time, and then you split up during the breaks to go home and come back when school is back in session.  You visit one another at home to see what the home life is like, or you take trips with them to go on vacation and to spend time together.

Freshman year is crucial for making these friendships because it’s a time when your peers are all in the same situation as you: you’re in a new, unknown place, with an unimagined amount of freedom and responsibility, and you don’t know anybody, yet.  For starters, summer orientation is a great time for you to make new connections and to learn about the different types of people in a new setting.

Once you get to school, you and your peers spend time together, going to meals together because you don’t want to go alone.  You explore the campus because you’re not sure where the library is.  You search around the residence halls for the laundry room, and you go door to door on your floor meeting new people.  You go to the advertised events on campus, and you even go to some of the word-of-mouth frat/sorority parties off campus.

You spend a lot of time with these new people in your life, and you learn that some of them are like you and some are not.  You change friends a couple of times during your first two years at college.  Some people change or you change, and you find that your schedules are different or that your interests spread you apart.  This is part of college!  The great thing is that the few friends that stay with you throughout the entire four years or so are the ones who stick around for the rest of your life!

College friends last long after high school friends, and while you may keep in touch with one or two of your friends from back home, it’s the college friends you may find yourself working alongside in your careers.  These are the people who have a lot in common with you, allowing you to learn a lot about your job through each other.

SO, despite me transferring to a different college and my friends graduating and starting their careers, we all still keep in touch.  That’s one of the perks of college, besides a degree.  Jobs may come and go, but just as the cliche goes, friends will last forever, and the friends you make will be with you for years to come.

So don’t be afraid to get out there and make friends!!!

Yay for summer!

Oswego sunset Summer is fabulous. I can’t get enough of it. School’s out, the sun’s out, what more could I ask for? Oh, probably no work. That’s a good one. I’m going to class (getting paid for it) 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday right now, so I actually wish I was back at Oswego where there seemed to be more of a break time, or at least more variety.

At school, with rare, cooperative weather, I could be hanging out at the lake, going for a bike ride, taking a hike around Rice Creek, or hanging out with friends in the residence halls. I could be working through Students for Global Change, hugging people for Hug Day or informing people about the horrible living conditions people are in across the globe or maybe having a political debate with someone who holds totally opposite views of me. Anyway, it’d be better than sitting in a class hearing an 8-hour lecture.

So, I think I’m suffering from that age-old proverb, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” Do you think that’s how it’ll always be in life? Looking forward to something else rather than enjoying what you have right here and now?

I think that applies to college because when you’re in school you keep wondering, “When am I going to graduate?” But, when you do graduate and are out in the real world, you’re like, “why can’t I be back in college?” We underestimate how good we’ve got it until it’s gone, and we’re left with something less ideal.

But hey, a career, money, and property are all good returns, as long as you either learn or start out liking what you do.

So, I’d say, enjoy summer for all it’s worth, but when the fall comes, enjoy school for all it’s worth. There’s no point in being bummed that summer’s over and pining for those days when you could hang out at the lake. You can even do that at Oswego. Bonfires at night during the first month or so of school are nice ways to escape from the seemingly bland routine of school. It’s all about living life today and loving it all the way.

In the meantime, get some sun, party with friends at the lake (in a responsible, age-appropriate, legal way), maybe work a little, and get stoked for each day!

Have a great week!

When I tell you not to think of the color red, what do you think of?

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

To be yourself… I guess that’s my life goal. Figuring out who myself is, now that’s a lifelong journey.

Oh, to blog. I was actually against blogging at first because I always had the impression that blogging meant that you were really conceited and wanted everyone to pay attention to your life. And, I suppose the types of “blogs” like MySpace and Facebook sustain that stereotype in a way. But, if writers like Thomas Friedman from the NY Times have blogs, then I guess it’s legitimate.

Okay, stepping off that soapbox and onto another: I want to have this particular blog serve as an introduction to the whole idea of weblogs because I know nothing about blogging.

I am going to be a junior journalism major at Oswego in the fall. It’ll be my second year at Oswego, however, because I transferred here last year. I came from Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondacks. I was doing environmental writing there, but that wasn’t the best fit for me, so I transferred to Oswego.

I love it at Oswego, mainly because of the academics. Despite people thinking that state universities aren’t as good as private schools, Oswego State has got a lot of great assets. There’s a great variety of people, activities, classes, weather, etc. But, I’ll talk more about that fun stuff later.

Right now, I am at home in Elmira, NY a.k.a. E-town where we have t-shirts that say “Elmira is gansta” that actually sell pretty well, Mark Twain’s burial site (not really, just a headstone, but we like to think that he’s here), two maximum security correctional facilities within a 15 mile radius, and the national soaring museum for gliders.

I am currently getting paid to take a class to become a certified nursing assistant so that I can work in a nursing home for the rest of my summer. In this job market for our generation, diversity and versatility is key. So, I figured, if I work as a CNA all summer, that’ll broaden my horizon.

I’m also available to my local Star Gazette newspaper for freelance. Which is exciting in itself when I get the opportunity to write about my city.

Meanwhile, I am fundraising for a trip to Ghana over winter break. I have to get $5,000 by October so that I can go volunteer in a community for three weeks in December. I can hardly wait!

Other than that, I am living it up in the Southern Tier, enjoying the scenery and lack of blustery, blizzard winds! Hope summer fun is going well. The calm, carefree feel of summer is great, isn’t it? Enjoy and savor it as much as you can.

Ciao. Hasta luego!