When I first stepped on Wake Forest’s campus as a student in August 2015, I did not know what to expect. Everything I had anticipated about college either came from my older sister’s experience at Tulane or from cheesy teen movies portraying college. I was nervous (and excited) about what the next four years would bring, and I didn’t know how to go about making college the best experience possible.
In high school, everyone at my school was overly involved in clubs and sports, and I didn’t know if college would be about that, or more about making sure you attend the best parties on the weekend and have a vibrant and active social life.
My first semester was hard and yet amazing. At times, it was overwhelming and questions would hit me — who would I eat lunch with after class (oftentimes, my entire freshman hall of 30 girls would mob the Pit), is it weird to study in the library alone, how do I go about getting in to a party? After a few weeks, these questions subsided as friends groups were formed and we started to navigate the complex Wake Forest culture.
In looking back at freshman year and comparing to where and who I am now, I cannot express how important certain individuals have been to me. From the group of girls I became friends with freshman year, who are still by best friends to this day, to older students encouraging me to get involved on campus and my family, I’ve learned it is vital to leverage your network of people and rely on them.
Without encouraging words from others, I never would have joined the Old Gold & Black, I would have been more hesitant about Greek life and I wouldn’t have pushed myself out of my comfort zone. Today, I know that I’ve grown in a way that will allow me to succeed beyond Wake Forest, not just because of the academic growth over the past four years, but also my personal growth.
I cherish my experience and the friendships I’ve made. Wake Forest has given me so much more than I could have asked for between the lifelong friends I have, the communities I found in both the clubs and organizations I joined, and in Greek life.
It is that time of year again where seniors are sentimental about graduating and starting a new chapter in life. At this point, many seniors don’t want to believe that in a few short weeks, college will be done and everything will change. After four years at Wake Forest, we hope that who we are now are different than the person who walked this campus in August of 2015 — a lot has happened in our four years, and we’ve learned a lot and grown as individuals.