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There was a pep rally and a convocation ceremony, which were surreal to me.My high school was a new school in downtown Manhattan.
We had no traditions and my graduating class (the school’s first ever) was about 40 people.
This always made me feel like I was missing something, like my high school experience was insignificant because I had no camaraderie. To enter a school like Lehigh, in its 150th year is something I’ll never forget.
All of the parties are either hosted by sports teams or fraternities in off-campus housing. Everyone comes out soaking in sweat, which sounds disgusting but is almost fun. Your parents aren’t there to say, “Get off that speaker, don’t dance on that table,” and so there’s a feeling of liberation that we all continuously seek each night after classes.
Each house has three or more guys waiting outside like gatekeepers and when you get there you have to tell a joke, have a ratio of more girls to guys in your group, or have a text invite proving that you’re worthy of admission. I’ve had nights where I didn’t want to go out and almost felt pressured by an internal voice that was saying, “You don’t want to miss it. ” But after getting sick the first week of school, (going into week 5, I'm still on antibiotics)I learned to follow my instincts and stay home if I'm aren’t feeling up to it. It’s crazy, and scary, and trying, and so many things. One day I asked a friend of mine, "Do you think that part of growing up is losing sight of who you are or becoming a temporary version of yourself?
By the way, there is a difference between shower shoes and regular flip flops. I grew up being very independent, but I soon learned that there is a difference between self-proclaimed independence that comes with a parental safety net, and adulthood. Lehigh is an all-American school, with football (it's part of one of the oldest college football rivalries in the nation — Lehigh-Lafayette anyone?
Freshman Year College Experience Essay
), Greek life, and a perpetual spot on an endless amount of “Top Party Schools in America” lists.But I'm so proud of myself for learning how to push through it.On the other side of things, every night at Lehigh is a party night.I started school on August 20th and have been exposed to much more than I could have ever imagined in such a short period of time. You don’t realize how different everything is outside of the city until you leave it.Coming from New York City I had this wild idea that I had seen and experienced nearly everything there was to be a part of. My biggest fear about going to college was leaving the world that I so tenderly loved and had become accustomed to.No one will email you and say, “Hey, Christel don’t forget to come by office hours so I can help you with the work you missed the other day! It’s a big change, and sometimes I’ve questioned myself, asking what I’m doing here because of the overwhelming amount of work and opportunity.Feeling inadequate is something that I’ve always struggled with and these first few weeks were full of times that highlighted that.Eventually though, I traded my Metro Card for a Gold Plus (my school’s currency) card.The days leading up to school went by very quickly, I did a boatload of laundry and argued with my parents over stupid things like the length of my bathrobe or the practicality of a steamer versus a handheld clothes iron.Someone even joked that girls are like “currency” here. ” He said yes, but I have the entire rest of freshman year to find out if he's right.Bailey just started college at Fairmont State University!