MACKENZIE HURLBERT — Staff Writer
Who said my first semester of college would go by so fast? Looking back, I can see a montage of lectures, club meetings, volleyball games and of course, my everglowing laptop screen, all partnered with a musical accompaniment of whatever dub-step my neighbor upstairs decided to blast. From my first trial of doing laundry on campus to my discovery of the third floor in Engleman, my first semester as a freshman has been filled with many experiences. While some may have not been the most enjoyable, such as finals week and a drunk guy stumbling into my room, other experiences I’ve shared with friends on campus will be unforgettable.
I lucked out and got a roommate I get along with, so much so that we sing Lonely Island lyrics to one another and stay up talking until 2 a.m. My boyfriend of two years and I have lasted, and I feel our relationship has only grown stronger. I’ve taken risks, like trying tofu for the first time and dressing up like an 80s chick for Halloween (that weird girl in neon-printed MC Hammer pants was me). I’ve persevered through loads of homework, projects, presentations and papers. I’ve slept through my alarm, and I’ve had to run to class a couple times. But all in all, my first semester of freshman year was pretty awesome.
The best thing about my first semester was making so many friends. My roommate (a sophomore) and I were paired randomly, and lucky for the both of us, it worked out well. I messaged her over the summer saying I did not want to be the famous “roommate from hell” so many college graduates talk about. She agreed, saying she also did not want to be a pest. From there we worked out some ground rules for the room, met for the first time after Hurricane Irene, and since then, it’s all been smooth sailing.
Luckily, we like the same shows—she’s not a soap opera girl, thank goodness—we both shower regularly, and although she needs the TV on when she studies, she tolerates my singing which, unbeknownst to me, I do in my sleep. Her friends have also been welcoming, inviting me to concerts, trips to Froyo downtown, and surprise birthday parties. From day one I felt like a part of their group, and looking back, I can’t thank them enough for being such good friends.
Some other awesome aspects of my first semester include the clubs I joined on campus. My friend Yoyo told me about Southern’s poetry club FLOW, or Fearless Lovers of Word, on our way back from a rugby practice. I had been trying out every club that seemed interesting in order to find one that fit my time schedule and level of commitment. She told me when the meeting was and where to go, and since my first meeting, I’ve been hooked. FLOW provided me with a place to destress; let my creative juices, for lack of better words, flow. After a semester of weekly meetings and a poetry competition with UNH’s poetry club WRITE, I’m sad realizing that this break means a whole month without FLOW. For my second semester I will be treasurer of the club, and my friend I mentioned earlier will be vice president. Pretty cool how one run-in with a new friend could lead you down a certain path, huh?
Club Volleyball has also been a highlight of my first freshman semester. I showed up to the first practice with a few friends and quickly realized that the “club volleyball team” was actually Southern’s “men’s club volleyball team.” I tried out anyways, and lucky enough for us, my two friends and I have been active participants since. We girls are highly outnumbered, and although my first time up at the net was a bit intimidating, I’ve slowly gotten to know these guys and enjoy my weekly time on the court playing the game I love. Of course, writing for Southern News has been another highlight of my first semester, and I truly appreciate the opportunity they’ve given me as a freshman. My weekly articles have been not only fun to write, but have also made me a more confident writer, especially with opinion pieces.
There were some drawbacks, such as that guy who stumbled into my room one night shouting, “Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas!” (I’ve been locking my door ever since). Likewise, the first time it rained on campus wasn’t so great for me either—I realized my raincoat wasn’t waterproof, and that I was in dire need of rain boots. Lastly, the first and only time I did laundry on campus (I go home every week, so don’t get grossed out) was traumatizing. While folding my laundry out of the dryer I found a pair of underwear that wasn’t mine. Yeah, that was nasty. Of course, I guess all freshmen must undergo a sort of test their first semester, and I feel I passed. One down—seven more to go.