Opinion: College is about finding your tribe

Allow yourself time to figure out your place in AU community

Opinion: College is about finding your tribe

My reason for attending to AU is probably just about as stereotypical as one can get. I came here for the School of Communication, more specifically the journalism program. The school’s location in Washington was also certainly a factor. My experience so far here, though, has really surprised me.

Coming in, I expected college to be like how my older peers described it: the most stressful yet most fun time of your life. I learned very early on that I had to throw out any expectations.

College is supposed to be like a rollercoaster, at least in the beginning. One minute, you’re cool, calm and collected. The next, you wake up at 7:55 a.m. with 15 minutes to make it to your 8:10 class. In the end, though, college is the time to figure out who you are. It’s about finding your tribe, or what everyone calls these “lifelong friends.”

So far, after a bit of a lonely Welcome Week — with the exception of my roommate — I have managed to make a few good friends. While I am still trying to fully determine what my passions are, I think I am going to find my potential tribe writing for The Eagle.

Like everyone at The Eagle, I love journalism. How’s that for a shared interest? All of my friends and family know that I often have an opinion on everything, so they were happy to hear of my current position as a staff columnist in the opinion section. However, the process of finding my tribe has not come without challenges.

In college, the initial major difference is there aren’t any parents. It’s great because this means that I can keep whatever hours I want and not have to worry about a curfew. However, no parents also means no one is there to hold me accountable or to take care of me when I’m sick, which could really have come in handy during my first month of classes. Whether we acknowledged it before or not, our parents help keep us healthy and motivated. Now, I am responsible for handling my coursework, health, social life and community involvement.

College is the most stressful and greatest time of one’s life. I hope to meet those lifelong friends that everyone talks about, but I also hope that I don’t run out of dining dollars by the end of the week. My hopes and aspirations are kind of all over the place, just like everyone’s opinions about wonk jokes.

But the one thing that is grounding me is that I have found a potential community on campus at The Eagle. It’s OK if that community changes with my changing interests. What is important is that every freshman, in their own way, allows themselves the space and time to be an active part of the vast community that is AU. 

Emma Greenberg is a freshman in the School of Communication and a staff columnist for The Eagle.

This article originally appeared in The Eagle's October 2018 fall print edition.


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