Reflections on Freshman Year

I’ve seen all over Facebook these nostalgic pictures of college freshman moving into their dorm rooms. My cousin just started his first year, too, and it’s brought back so many memories for me.

Believe it or not, I moved into my freshman dorm 10 years ago! Wow. It’s incredible to say. One decade ago, I was packing up my parent’s SUV saying goodbye to everything I’ve ever known. I still remember my bed spread. It was pink and blue from Nautica. I loved it! I made some scrapbook pages with my favorite pictures of my high school friends and family to put on the walls. I had my new computer, a new North Face backpack and bright thoughts on the future.

My parents helped me move-in and my dad cursed how much stuff I brought with me. He still does that to this day, even on vacation. Saying goodbye was really hard. And, strangely enough, we said our final goodbyes in the hallway as I was heading down to my first dorm dinner with my new floor mates. I can still picture my mom crying and me fighting back tears because I didn’t want to ugly cry in front of all these new people.

I lived in the all-girl dorm and was excited to make some great new friends. That very first day and that very first dinner, I heard there was another girl from Cincinnati living on my floor. I went up to her and said, “I’m from Cincinnati, too!” Instant bond. She quickly became my best friend. And she still is to this day.

My first semester, I took 5 classes and one was at 8 AM. I love mornings, but I wouldn’t recommend an 8 AM to any new freshman…ever! I had psychology 101 and felt like I could rock that class. I took psych in high school and made a decent study guide for my first test. It was my first test in college. And I flunked it! Like, a big, fat F. I called my parent’s crying. I had never failed a test. I felt like I couldn’t make it in college. That I wasn’t going to cut it. Luckily, my dad talked me off the edge and reminded me that it was just one test and as long as I tried my best, that’s all he could hope for. I ended up getting a C in the class.

Every weekend, I hung out with Megan, the other girl from Cincy and soon to be life BFF, my friend, Mike, from high school and all the guys that lived in his dorm. One of those guys was named Vinn. See where I’m going with this? That’s right. Vinn and I met freshman year of college. We celebrate our first college Halloween together. And, as they say, the rest is history. I had no idea back then that we would get married, but we certainly had some fun nights together that year.

Second semester was way better than the first. The homesickness went away, I was getting starting to figure out how to study and the methods that worked best for me, but the best thing that happened for me was sorority rush. I was happy that it was the second semester because I could see the girls “in action.” I knew which sorority I wanted before rush even started. And that’s the one I pledged! Megan is also my sorority sister and I am so thankful for all the women I met. Some of whom are still my best friends. (Megan and my other sorority sister, Jenna, were bridesmaids in our wedding).

Spring break sticks out for me. Vinn and another guy came to Cincinnati and spent the week between my house, my friend Mike’s house and Megan’s house. We took them to all our favorite Cincinnati places: Skyline Chili, Graeter’s Ice Cream, the zoo and Montgomery Inn. It sticks out as one of the most fun weeks ever!

All in all, freshman year was one of my favorite years in college. (Senior year was my absolute favorite). I was on my own, I could do whatever I wanted to do. I studied, I partied, I made my best friends. All in those first 9 months away from home.

My hopes for anyone going into their freshman year of college is that they have as much fun as I did, to study a little bit (it’s hard to dig out of a hole), to say yes to everything, and, whatever you do, don’t drink the Jungle Juice!

Some freshman year pics:


Me and Jenna in our dorm on our way to have separate V-Day dinners with our guys. (Vinn and I went to the restaurant that would later become the spot for our wedding reception!)


Nothing has changed. A decade of friendship.


Holy. Crap. Vinn still has this shirt.


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