It’s been a week, and I am now officially a college Freshman.
“Say that again?”
“Weren’t you just in elementary school?”
These past few days have been surreal. From sleepless nights and intense anxiety, to learning about textbook rentals and syllabi, I’ve been all over the place. And I know I’m not the only one *sings in Sam Smith’s angelic voice because Sam Smith is the only one who can calm me down*
Before I dive into my first day of college, let me just start off by saying how stressed out I was before it all started.
I was nervous as hell for school. I mean, who wouldn’t be? Starting off in a large university is not easy, and if someone told you it would be easy, then they were lying right to your face. Making new friends is also terrifying, especially when one is introduced to a new environment. Of course, I have a few classmates from high school that attend the same college as I do, but our schedules did not match up, and the whole “high school clique” thing wouldn’t have worked out too well anyways.
Another problem plaguing my mind was how difficult it would all be. Academically, I felt prepared. But emotionally, I felt vulnerable. I didn’t know how friendly my new school environment would be. I didn’t know how much competition I would face. I didn’t know how to interact with my professors. I didn’t know how to de-stress. I didn’t know anything, and all of this caused intense mental and emotional strain.
The night before school started, I cried.
Yep. I bawled my eyes out, and sought comfort from my mother. I was never good with change, and when it came down to climbing up the higher education ladder, sobbing was the way to go.
The next morning, I woke up feeling miserable. I commute to school, which means I have to leave my house early to get to my 8:10 AM classes on time. How early? Well, I wake up at 5 AM every morning. Yeah, I know. Crazy. But, in all honesty, it’s not the worst. I have enough time to pray Fajr (Don’t know what that is? Click these words to find out), and I get to see the sun rise over NYC every morning (not too shabby). Once I finally arrived to school, I found my Philosophy class and waited for the professor to begin our lecture. I didn’t know anyone. Not a single soul. And it was too early, so I refused to talk to people.
My professor actually turned out to be great. It was his first year teaching at the school, so he was technically a freshman too. Sort of. After Philosophy, I didn’t know what to do with myself because my next class started around 2:30. (No need to count how long my break is. It’s 5 hours every Monday and Thursday. You’re welcome)
5 hours of not knowing where to go, or who to talk to. 5 hours to find food, and a place to eat. 5 hours to kill my intense boredom.
5 hours to explore.
And that’s exactly what I did. I ended up finding the Muslim Student Association (MSA), and introducing myself to the girls who were inside the small room. Surprisingly, everyone was extremely welcoming. It felt great to have women to connect with, and I ended up spending most of my time lounging around (they have pillows and blankets, so guess who’s gonna be catching up on some sleep?
Thankfully, all of my professors turned out to be fabulous as well *keeps fingers crossed because people can change real quick*
The rest of my classes weren’t too big in size (except for my psych class–yikes!), and I even made a few friends along the way. So, for now, school isn’t so bad. It’s an interesting experience, and I’ll stick to waking up 5 in the morning (only) for this semester.
Over the past few days, I’ve also received a plethora of texts/snapchats/messages/FaceTime calls from a lot of my friends who went away to school. From the beautiful dorms and crazy parties, to the bonfires and carnivals, I really do hope that my friends are doing well. For those of you who are at school and reading my blog, I miss y’all so much! We shall see each other soon. I promise.
But for now, I’m gonna go and do some homework. Because homework is life. And studying is life. And college is life.
P.S. Safe travels to my parents who are leaving for Pakistan on Sunday. I don’t really know how I’m going to survive the stress of school without them at home, but we’ll see how it goes. Bon Voyage!