Finding Home Away from Home


(Hunter Benegas/The Fordham Ram)

In life, we are constantly faced with new or startling experiences, one of which is the transition from high school to college. For many students, going away for college can be very daunting, as it means leaving behind the place you have always known as home. Not only are you propelled into a completely new environment, but you are also forced to navigate that new setting without the reassuring company of your family and friends.

As a result, many freshmen, myself included, often begin their college experience with conflicting feelings of panic and anticipation. My first semester was certainly full of overwhelming experiences. I knew that I had made the right choice attending and living at Fordham, yet I would have these occasional feelings of uneasiness that stemmed from leaving the comfort of my home. Although I was excited to begin a new journey into college life, a part of me longed for the sense of routine and security I had developed in high school.

Nonetheless, I told myself that I would not allow my anxiety to keep me from taking advantage of the opportunities that college had to offer. So when it came time for the fall club fair, I decided to sign up for anything and everything. In the week following the fair, my email was flooded with welcome messages from a variety of clubs and organizations. I knew that I would end up neglecting most of those emails as my main objective was not to participate in every club, but rather to find one or two clubs to which I could fully commit. I wanted to find a club that would provide a sense of community and companionship. Essentially, I was looking for a new home.

Fortunately, I found that home at The Fordham Ram. I still distinctly remember how nervous I was at the information meeting. I was looking to become a photographer for the newspaper but started to worry that I did not possess the necessary skills or equipment. Despite this concern, though, I decided to attend the following meeting and every meeting thereafter. I may have only had a basic knowledge of photography, but I knew that through the Ram, I would be able to further my abilities and gain more experience.

I am so grateful for the Ram and all of the opportunities with which the publication has provided me. I have been able to photograph a variety of events, from museum exhibits in New York City to club functions on campus. However, I also had the opportunity to learn about key aspects of graphic design, which led to me applying for the position of graphics/illustrations editor.

I know that I am still a freshman and am not yet qualified to provide any sage wisdom about life at Fordham or college in general. Yet I feel that I have already learned one important lesson, and that is to never be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone, whether it be during or after college. Of course, this is easier said than done, but we must understand that there’s always going to be new aspects of our lives that confuse or overwhelm us. The thing to keep in mind is that new experiences are healthy and allow us to grow as individuals.

By stepping out of my comfort zone, I was able to find a home at Fordham. I now have that same feeling of safety and security that I thought I lost only a few months ago. I know there is still so much more that awaits me in the next three years, and I truly cannot wait to experience it all.