Starting Somewhere

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As I come into my last year here at HSU, I’m debating what almost every senior in college debates; ‘should I get my masters?’ Of course, it’s not because I actually want to continue my education; it’s from the fear of what comes next after college. From the looming shadows of loan collectors waiting for my graduation date to relatives asking me what’s next. How should I know what’s next? I barely know what I’m doing next week, let alone what I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life.

Looking at social media, I’m met with videos of incoming first-year students excited to move in and meet their future classmates and lifelong friends. It gives me a wave of nostalgia for my first day. It almost makes me wish I could go back in time to experience that excitement and fear, sort of when you reach the top of a rollercoaster, and it’s about to drop down.

I can remember the fear and excitement I had when I transitioned from being a senior in high school to being a freshman in college. I was able to speak with some incoming freshmen this past week, and it was a wonderful experience to see what it’s like to be a freshman again.

Markus Orr, an incoming Wildlife major, is one of the few people I had the chance to meet.

“I’m excited to experience college and being away from home. I am also looking forward to meeting people and activities on campus. Being new here feels very nerve-racking, but I am still excited. I am worried about how well I will handle the change from high school classes and work to college classes and work, but I think I’ll survive just fine.”

This year, Orr is living in Creekview and is excited to see what the future has in store for them.

“I am also excited for more challenging and hands-on experiences I didn’t get in high school. Also, there are so many clubs that I am excited to explore.”

Meeting people has always been a nervous event for me, and I know I’m not alone in that, especially when meeting your future roommate.

Jayda Carbajal talks about how it’s been being new to HSU and what it’s like sharing a room with someone she’s never met before.

“I’d say the thing I’m most excited about being a new student here on campus is being able to get to know the wonderful community around me and be outdoors more. It’s been so wonderful so far getting to know my roommate. She has been so sweet, kind, and has made me feel very comfortable,” Carbajal said.

“The transition has been a little hard coming to college just because I miss my family so much. I’ve just been pretty homesick. However, I’m so excited to get started with classes and learn more about the wildlife and beautiful nature that surrounds us.”

When I had my first ever tour of HSU, before I was even a college student, I knew I had found my community. Walking around, I realized how different this tour was from all the other campus tours I had taken at other colleges. People were friendly and would walk up to the group to say hello and interact with future HSU students. I had found my people.

Emilie Cates told me how excited they were to meet other people with the same interests and ambitions finally.

“It always helps me get motivated with my work when other people are also looking forward to learning. I’m a theatre major and want to see what opportunities for playwriting the school has. It’s a passion of mine, and I want to pursue it at the school,” Cate excitedly told me.

“I’m also excited to explore the vast wilderness boarding the school. I recently made the Humboldt cross country team and have loved being around the other runners. They inspire me to work my hardest and give it all I have. Humboldt so far has been a great experience, including the awesome food at the J. I have high hopes for this year.”

Being a senior in college is terrifying and exciting because you get to interact with people just starting their college experience and offer advice the same way seniors had told you when you first started. It’s a community of people of all ages, races, genders, and identities, and it’s a community I will cherish forever. Although the idea of a future without academics fills me with uncertainty, I look forward to seeing what my future holds.

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