Rensselaer has given me countless opportunities to grow and become a more mature person since I started last year. College is a time where you have the chance to refine who you are and grow in ways that you never could have imagined. First semester of your freshman year can be overwhelming, because it is the first time, for a lot of us, that we are living away from the rest of our families. There is nobody telling you when your curfew or bedtime is; in fact, it seems like parts of campus are more active at night than they are during the day. Many establishments in Troy are open past midnight, not to mention the fact that the RPI workload often requires efforts at all hours of the day. Talking to many upperclassmen, I’ve found that freshman year was the year that people had the most free time and the least amount of responsibilities.
Upperclassmen have already learned how to balance the stresses of the academic rigor that RPI is renowned for, as well as maintaining a social life. A classic trope in college is that you need to choose two of the three following options: sleep, social life, and academic success. During my freshman year, I’ve certainly chosen grades and a social life over sleep. It may not be healthy, but you’ll have when you’re older to sleep, and only four years of undergrad to enjoy. Freshman year, for me, was a year of many firsts and a broadening of my horizons far beyond what I ever did in high school. In fact, some of closest friends are people that I have met through the many clubs that I joined last year and that I intend to continue this year.
To close out this notebook, at the risk of beating a dead horse, I definitely encourage incoming freshmen to take advantage of all this campus has to offer. Many people that I know were happier after they joined things and got involved on campus. The difference between some people fall semester and spring semester was night and day, and I’d say a large factor in that was the fact that they finally branched out and took advantage of what RPI and Troy had to offer. Why wait until your second semester when you can take advantage of it now?