Before my alarm rang, signaling the beginning of move in day, I stared at the popcorn ceiling of the hotel room, feeling the springs of the bed press back and my stomach do a flip, contemplating the rest of my life. I couldn’t predict what would happen, and that terrified me. It’s difficult to leap into a new experience after being so comfortable back home. I was immensely excited but also so nervous.
Would I find my people? Would move in go okay? What did I forget back at home?
Before college I had never lived without my parents, I never had a place of my own to take care of, I never had even moved more than 30 minutes away from one South Florida snow bird town to another. I had never picked up everything and left all my friends. All these new experiences happened at once and conflicted with how happy I was that I was about to start my new life at my dream school. I anticipated all the possibilities that came with the college experience. The constant I had in my life was my twin sister Sam (thank God for her) since we are attending Johns Hopkins together.
At first, at the beginning of orientation, I had no idea what would happen to me, how I could possibly make friends. But slowly, I met more and more people. One of the first people I met is my new workout buddy, Mira. She’s a physics or possibly international studies major (?) with energy that can fill a room and is always up for fun. I met a lot of people like her just by keeping my door open and music playing. Just on my floor I was able to meet Graham, from Louisville (or how he pronounces it: Looavull ) who is now our Building A dad, always wants to play catch, etc. And his roommates: Wyatt, the mysterious one, and Chris: who I force into teaching me how to play basketball. No matter what, being open to people is key. I learned to not be afraid. We’re all in the same boat, trying to adapt and to find new people. On the night of the lighting of the quad, I met up with a girl from a Miami meet and greet, Agustina, who is literal goals, and her roommate, Marlynn (who is now my lifting/dancing buddy). A crazy funny guy from southern Illinois joined the group, and mysterious Wyatt actually stayed. It was a special night, because I had literally just met these people and we ended up talking for hours after the event ended, and grabbed insomnia cookies at 2 am together. I finally felt like I had found my niche, like I was home.
Little did I know, how just taking those few tentative steps would lead to the coalescence of this amazing group of people that I get to call my friends. I found my short hair twin in a Chem BE major from New Jersey, Jenna, who can put a smile on anyone’s face; I found my tallest friend in Simon, who also does great impressions. I found my instagram goals in Kevin. I found my econ soulmate in Andrew, a girl to throw shade with in Sasha, and the kindest person I know in Emily.
I guess the point of all this is to depict how I, someone who is not necessarily extroverted or extremely outgoing could find my people. There is such a variety of people that it is impossible to not find your niche. I feel like I am now friends with so many different types of people; they help me challenge my own perceptions and keep me open to new points of view. And that’s what great about Johns Hopkins, that it constantly makes you think, inside and outside of the classroom. I feel like I know so much more just by listening and soaking up their perspectives. Also, the point is to lessen the fear of the unknown. Orientation is the time to test the waters, to find people that you click with. It is not some type of pass/fail test on whether or not you can appear appealing to new people. I went from knowing no one to, a week later visiting the national aquarium at the Inner Harbor with my all these unique, remarkable people. And it was amazing.