Hi there! My name is Aurora, and it is my first year here at SUNY Geneseo. Never in my life was it in my plans to be going to college, let alone a college practically in my own backyard. I grew up in a small farming town called Perry, which is about fifteen minutes away. Growing up, I could never decide on one thing to do for the rest of my life, and why should I? It’s not like people, the world, or even life remains constant. We had to figure that out the hard way in 2020. When things around me persisted in the same old boring pattern, it bothered me. Change seemed livelier, and traveling would have been more pleasant in my mind. Waking up every day to something new outside your window, sign me up! Instead, I made an extremely last-minute decision to put in a college application. Now, it isn’t as gloomy as it sounds, although it was intimidating. While growing up, I had watched movies that portrayed the negative aspects of college: drugs, alcohol, inappropriate gestures and actions, and way more. My family was even terrified for me to leave the nest and venture into trying something new. While wearing my bravest face, I got into my car and drove here, ready to start my new chapter. God, that face was nothing more than a mask, a mask being worn under my COVID mask. My nerves were eating me alive; anxiety came flooding in, and all I wanted to do was back out and turn back home to where I knew everything and everyone. Needless to say, I did no such thing.
I made it up to my room, nervous as all hell, and saw my roommate for the first time. She was amazing and so beyond kind. We clicked almost instantly! We’ve both helped each other to grow and learn new things. As for classes, we have absolutely none together, so she can’t help me find mine. She managed to figure out any challenges right off the bat, whereas I was late to my first lecture on my very first day because I went to the wrong building. Embarrassing, I know. But I carried on to the rest of my courses (the correct ones this time). The following day I felt like things just wanted to keep going downhill. I received my first ever ticket, a parking ticket. My first week carried on, and by the end of it I had made multiple new friends, learned precisely where my classes were, where to park my car without receiving a ticket, and many more things that were just college. Courses were vastly different than the ones I was used to back in high school. The rooms were filled with far more people than were even in my graduating class, professors were more laid back than my previous teachers, and the rooms throughout campus seemed to be a more relaxed setting. I had thought that the professors would be intense, strict, and call you out in front of the whole class; there was almost no such thing. I have courses that I for sure favor more over others, but who doesn’t? I have also come to find out that science is definitely not my strong suit.
Even though college is about learning and excelling in your subjects, I made time to venture into other areas. I made sure to experiment and go to parties, but they were not what I had assumed. The people were extremely nice, and new people were constantly introducing themselves and hanging out with me. I was never pressured to do activities that I wasn’t comfortable with and was never put into a bad situation. People had told me about the worst possible scenarios for what happens at college parties. Still, after experiencing them for myself, I came to realize that most of what had been told to me were rumors or events that happened years before to the people who currently attend SUNY Geneseo. I would not change those experiences made at the parties for anything. They allow people who are generally shy and closed off to spread their wings a bit and not feel so judged.
When the time came for me to return to my small town and home for work and visit family, all I could think about was returning here, to college, to my new home with my new friends! College most definitely has aspects portrayed in movies or books, but everyone should experience it for themselves because not everything is as it seems.