Hometown: Glenwood Springs, CO
Starting college directly out of high school simply means a lot of changes in life. Moving to a completely different town where you know no one can be exciting and scary at the same time. I grew up and lived for 18 years in the same small town where everyone knew everyone. This made it very comfortable for me and I got used to always seeing someone I knew no matter where I was. Coming to college for the first time here at Fort Lewis, I knew no one. This scared me slightly but I also knew that I was ready for this change and I had to remember that most of the new students here also didn’t know anyone. This was a chance for me to search out the people who I could be myself around and who I could see myself spending these next years with here in Durango.
Once I arrived at my dorm and my parents had said their goodbyes, the feeling of being alone and far from home didn’t last long. My new roommate arrived a few hours after me. I had been waiting patiently to finally meet the person I would be living with for the next nine months. We hit if off right away, which was very exciting for me, and I knew it was going to be a great year. Together we wandered the halls of dorm, Cooper Hall, meeting our new hall mates, introducing ourselves to the RAs and getting to know our way around this new place we would call home. It turned out to be really easy to meet people because everyone was around the same age, looking for a friend just like we were and excited to be moving into a new and exciting place. I could tell right away that most of us were ready to start our college adventures together.
After everyone had settled into their dorm rooms, the resident assistants brought us all out into the quad to do some activities where we could meet and get to know each other. We played games, ate food, and made connections to friends I still have today. At first this idea seemed like something I did not want to be a part of because I thought I would just meet people on my own time. But looking back now, I am so happy that I took the time to participate, because the people who I met that day are still my close friends today as I am finishing my last year here at the Fort. This was a great way to get to know the people with whom I would be sharing rooms, eating meals, and spending a lot of time for the next few months. People may have negative assumptions about living in the dorms with a bunch of 18 year olds, but to me it was like sharing a huge hotel with all my friends who all eventually became my support group and almost as close as family.
This time in your life is the beginning to the next chapter so it is time to be yourself, be open to new ideas and just enjoy everything that is coming your way. During this time of change, I learned so much about myself, interesting lessons about life, and I met great people and I now have wonderful memories that I will hold on to forever.