Be Open to New College Experiences


Saying yes to new experiences is a unique opportunity that college offers. (Courtesy of Pia Fischetti/The Fordham Ram)

For many students, entering college is like a clean slate. You’re ready to meet new people, live independently for the first time and go through the ever-so-alluring process of finding yourself. It’s the first day of the rest of your life; now what?

The biggest advice I’d give first-year students is to move through your time at Fordham with an open mind. While being receptive to new experiences will always be important, it’s absolutely critical to do so in your first few months at our beautiful Rose Hill campus. You should be saying yes to everything (within reason, of course).

When you first move into your freshman dorm, you’re on a level playing field with every other person who lives in your building.
No one knows anyone, and no one knows what they’re doing. You’ll likely have spoken to some other students before your arrival — through group chats and social media platforms — which provides a good buffer so that you don’t feel entirely lost during your first few days. You might even know your roommate by this point.

However, the adage “your first college friends won’t necessarily be your forever friends” exists for a reason. It isn’t impossible to maintain these early relationships, but it is common to grow apart and meet different people with whom you may find a better fit as time goes on. By saying yes, you increase your chances of finding potentially life-long friends.

Take it from me. During my freshman year, I lived in Loschert (shoutout room 304) and mostly spent time with my roommate and other girls who lived in the building at the beginning of the year. I became especially close with one friend in particular, Brennan, who lived directly across the hall from me. She hung out with a different pair of roommates on our floor who I’d only met a handful of times.
On Halloween, something went awry with my main friend group’s reservation to Clinton Hall (this was in 2020, as the pandemic left many spots closed or at limited capacity). Brennan then invited me to come along with her and her friends. I agreed to go and had one of the most fun and memorable nights of my first year.

Additionally, I truly bonded and clicked with Brennan’s other friends; two years later, they all are like sisters to me, and I couldn’t be more thankful that I went with them that night.

This isn’t to discount the great times I had with my first friends at college; I still love those people and cherish the memories. But by saying yes to a random invitation, I met my family away from home in those girls.

Of course, saying yes can extend to more than just making friends. Now is the perfect time to get out of your comfort zone. Accept an invitation to tag along with someone to Ram Fit; maybe you’ll discover that you love working out. Put your name down on contact sheets at the club fair when the person at the table encourages you to — maybe a meeting will pique your interest, and you’ll find a new hobby. When professors talk about office hours, take them up on it; maybe you’ll develop a networking connection that will help you in the future.

Don’t be afraid to take chances. Say yes to yourself, as well as others. If you see an internship on LinkedIn that intrigues you, submit an application. If you know you have a talent, use it whenever possible. Join an intramural sport or start writing articles for the Ram. Whatever it may be, as long as it’s in the spirit of safety and common sense, do it.

You’re out on your own for the first time, and now you have a prime opportunity to push boundaries and go outside of your comfort zone. If you decide something isn’t for you, that’s more than okay. But at least you’ll know that you gave it a fair shot. You probably won’t regret taking risks in hindsight. But if you don’t branch out, there’s a good chance you will regret never trying. So go out and expand your horizons. Walk to Starbucks with someone on your floor, explore Arthur Avenue and take up an activity you’ve never done before.

Just say yes!