Somewhere between cramming my entire life into a couple of suitcases to relocate 3,000 miles away from home and the buzzing of my alarm clock this morning, I grew up. I can’t put my finger on the moment this personal revolution took place, but it did. And it happened without any conscious effort on my part, without any consent or premeditation. Maybe it was during the surreal moment when I met and hugged my new roommate for the first time, or maybe it was when I was forced to actually unpack all the pieces that collectively made up my existence, after almost a week of being here. I’m not saying that as the most “green” member of the Georgetown community I already have everything about life on the Hilltop figured out, but I definitely feel distinctly different. We all do. You can see it in our faces. And if you can’t, it’s just because we’re trying so hard to mask it.

Coming to college is more than moving shoes and photographs. It’s re-configuring to an entirely new mold. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming everyone needs to just drop everything and assimilate already, but the distinctive pieces we each bring will help to make this place into the whole it is constantly becoming. So what if we’re all from different points of origin, we all have the same destination -and now we share one distinctive common existence. And if nothing else, we all began from the same position, we’re lowly newbie’s who just carted a whole bunch of stuff into rooms that are way too small to share with another human being.

After Mom and Dad got teary as we said goodbye (fine, I cried too) then flew back across North America to return to everything I had left behind, reality set in. And now I know that I am truly home. Albeit this isn’t home in the same sense that I’ve known for my 18 years thus far, but it’s home all the same. It’s just a change of address, right? So what if “dude” isn’t a formal salutation here? Assimilation of each other’s slang is just the beginning of the bonds yet to be formed. Hey, I can learn how to flip up the collars on my polo shirts, how hard can that be? It’s all part of the same journey that we embark upon together. And being a freshman isn’t that bad – except for the freshman stigmas. Maybe someone will pull the fire alarm, someone will get lost and wander into your class, someone will puke (Linda Blair style) at a party, someone will pose as an upper classman and yes, someone will even sleep through convocation. I know that sometimes we might look silly, like when we seem unable to enter any event without 15 or so of our closest friends, but maybe they’re just the only people we’ve met so far. Realizing that you are living so far away from home and suddenly having so much freedom can be like being thrown naked into a frozen lake. I know that every upperclassman remembers that initial chill of fear that shot down their collective spines at the prospect of going out for the first time. “What, you mean you want to, like, go to a party?” But I am supremely confident that this too, will pass. I look forward to the day when I can preside over a great many social gatherings. But until that day, I think that reading for Euro Civ. and managing the many newly budding relationships will keep me plenty busy.

Here I sit, poised on the cusp between mastery of the challenge of setting up a space for me in such a novel setting and the joy of finally feeling like I am beginning to have somewhere to belong here. I can feel some piece of invisible, internal machinery has clicked into gear. As if I have somehow been programmed for this moment, I’ve stepped up. So maybe I did sleep through a class today, and maybe I did almost break my neck the first time I stumbled down from the top of Village A on my way home to New South. Now I can locate the right stairs to the classrooms in White Gravenor, I can scan a crowded cafeteria almost effortlessly for someone I know, I can make it to class on time, I can avoid the particularly belligerent squirrels that stake out Copley Lawn and most importantly, I can conduct myself with poise and a sense of humor when I mess up. Hey, go easy on me here – I am still learning.

Jenna Borgia is a freshman in the College.

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