A fresh start

My name is Natalie Kershner, and I am an Elementary/Special Education first-year student at Geneseo. I was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, with my four older siblings by my wonderful mother. Since I am the youngest, I witnessed my siblings packing up and leaving for college year after year. I knew the time would eventually come for it to be my turn to start the brand-new exciting chapter of my life.

Personally, I have never been one in favor of change. The thought of leaving my home for Geneseo weighed on my chest heavily, and there was no ease coming to terms with this transitional period. It dawned on me the moment I hugged my mother goodbye in the Onondaga Hall parking lot that now my college experience was beginning and no longer just an idea that existed in the far future. The number of unanswered questions and concerns running through my mind only added to the ongoing list of “what-if’s” and worst-case scenarios.

However, most of my worries and anxiety dissipated the moment I met my roommate, Kylie. I have never met someone who I so easily feel comfortable with, and myself around. I spent far too much time worried that there would be an extremely awkward phase between the two of us as we navigated, sharing a living space. Luckily, we have a wonderful dynamic where we can sit in comfortable silence in one moment, and have a giant dance party to our conjoined Spotify playlist in the next. One of my all-time favorite memories together from the past three weeks was the night that my favorite musician, Mr. Harry Styles, had the first concert of his United States tour lineup. Together Kylie and I got snacks, found a live stream of his concert, and had an extraordinary time singing along to his songs and dancing our hearts out. The privilege of having such a wonderful roommate after obsessing with anxiety for weeks helped give me the confidence to approach other scenarios and situations with a more open mind. It was not long before I found myself surrounded by uplifting, joyful, and kind friends. My days were overtaken by running around in a thunderstorm, watching movie marathons late into the night, singing along to comedy specials, and random trips to Walmart. I am so thankful that suddenly my mindset switched from dreading the unknown of each day to looking forward to the spontaneity ahead.

In terms of classes, I had no idea what to expect walking in other than a heavy workload and the reminder that studying would become my best friend. In my writing seminar, Theatre Therapy for Veterans, I had absolutely no preconceived notion of what to anticipate. After sitting through the first lecture and meeting my teacher, Professor Arena, I was blown away by how interesting and deep this class will be. When you learn about things that are genuinely interesting, it only helps boost the dedication to the class and topic. I am looking forward to reading the texts and participating in class discussions because I know I will be interested in the content personally. This writing seminar is one of the classes I genuinely look forward to each week, and the outside-of-class coursework does not overwhelm me to the extent that some of my other courses tend to. I hope that I can make it through this first semester with a positive mindset towards myself, my grades and mental health. It is important to remember that even though coursework and exams are crucial, so is taking care of yourself and your mind. I am looking forward to where this semester and class bring me in the upcoming weeks.

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