Transitioning to University at 22

“Are you a freshman?” This is my least favorite question to be asked, considering almost every student living on campus is 1-4 years my junior. Queue the awkward laugh and explenation of being a first-year-transfer-second-semester-sophomore who is almost 23 years old, and alas you have my first interaction with almost everyone I meet.

Needless to say, I was nervous coming to Rutgers University after taking a solid four years to complete my associates degree. I wanted to be sure of my career path and save some money; there’s nothing wrong with that, right? Right. But, I anticipated the very worst. Nobody is going to want to make friends with someone my age. I’m too old to get involved on campus. I should be graduated by now. Negative thoughts rained in my mind like a tropical storm until I found myself drowning in anxiety prior to move-in day.

I am relieved to report that my expectations were entirely mislead by my paranoia, because after the dreaded “are you a freshman” conversation that inevitably occurs, I am always followed with a reassuring fact: No one cares! Every student, including freshmen and transfers and returning students alike, are all attending Rutgers University for the same common goals. Everyone wants to make friends. We all want to achieve good grades. Each student is preparing themselves for the rest of their lives.

So for anyone who is experiencing the same worries I was, I’d like to give you one piece of advice that I have learned during my first semester: just go for it. Ask the girl sitting next to you to go out for lunch. Audition for the theater productions. Try-out for the sports teams. Join a club. Talk to people! You’ll do just fine.