Hello there, I’m Vivian Youmans. I was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. I grew up there for about four years until my parents divorced. When I turned five, I moved to Syracuse and grew up there for the rest of my life up until now. I lived with my mother and my brother and visited my grandparents often because they lived 7 minutes away. A little bit of an insider about me, my middle name is Love. I used to have people tell me that I was lying, but it’s the plain truth. My middle name was given to me after my great-great grandfather, George Love. He was drafted into the army at the age of 16 and never came back home.
I’ve always been more comfortable and accustomed to home. So leaving my safe space is huge for me. Before coming into college, I have had so many people in my life tell me all sorts of things that they experienced in college, each and everyone in defining detail. My parents talked to me about their friendships, the endless times their friends, and they had a good laugh and tried to contain it in class. The parties; Where there were mosh pits of sweaty teens dancing to Depeche Mode. As well as all the crazy crowded football games they attended where the crowd would sway to Sweet Carolina and do “the wave.”But there was one statement that my mother told me that stood out the most. She told me that she met her lifelong best friends in college, some of whom were at her wedding. She said, “ You’ll meet your bridesmaids in college, trust me.” From then on, I always felt that college would be fantastic and everything I dreamt it to be; I would find my people.
Now, partially, that could be correct. Geneseo is gorgeous. The campus is perfect for someone who doesn’t want too big but doesn’t want too small. In truth, it wasn’t my first choice. I never had even toured the campus before I applied. The entirety of my family has gone to Syracuse University. My grandmother even teaches there to this day. I applied, of course, but I honestly didn’t want to continue the line; I wanted to branch off. I received a letter a couple of months later in my email from SU stating that I had not gotten in. I felt like I had let down my family and friends, saying to myself that if I couldn’t get into SU like the rest of my family, I wouldn’t get in anywhere. A few more letters rolled in a few weeks after starting the same, starting with the word “ Unfortunately.” I lost hope that I had no idea what I was doing. I reread my general common application, checking for errors or missing information, but it was all filled out. I was astonished and excited when I found the Geneseo letter in my mailbox stating that I was accepted into the SUNY Geneseo community. I told my family and friends; the overall consensus was good.
It’s a giant step, moving to college: new people, new life, a new beginning. Since moving in, I have been determined to find my lifelong friends. I met my roommate on move-in day. Noticing that everyone on my floor had known their roommates before moving in, I became extremely anxious. My roommate and I had talked for about a month over text, sharing little details about ourselves. I spoke to a few people on campus about my thoughts as a freshman moving in with someone you barely know, and most felt the same way! It made me realize that I am not alone in the beginning stages of living with another person.
As far as classes go, it has been a blur for the past few weeks. Being so nervous that every assignment is turned in and that you start with a good grade can take the fun out of any class. I am enrolled in Physical Geography, Creative Writing, Geneseo First-Year Seminar, and Theater- Therapy for Veterans. Focusing on Theater- Therapy for Veterans class, I have found a sense of comfort that I can’t say I have for any other course. The connections I have made with the people in this class have helped me immensely. I started with very high expectations on the first day of class, maybe a little too high. I hope to learn what it means to be a college student writing an essay rather than a high school student writing an essay. This class overall seems exciting, and I love the energy coming from the teacher. It always helps to know that you can feel comfortable talking to your educator.
Geneseo is a magnificent community, but I was only told the positives outweigh the negatives in college. No one warned me about all the sharp, stressful times. No one told me that making friends would be harder than ever and that classes have a way of getting overwhelming in the first week. No one told me that as much as I was ready to jump in and move away, I would miss home. No one told me I would want to go home so fast and hug those I’ve grown around. I was only told that it’s an enormous change and that I would enjoy it.