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Tuesday, April 23, 2024
NEWS  |  CAMPUS

Fresh start leads to hunt for passion

New sights, new people and new places to explore — such is the life of a freshman.

Yet, I am excited to be one of them. This year will be whatever I make it, and I plan to make it the best year of my life.

However, this may be a little difficult, considering I suddenly have a new room, campus and city to get adjusted to. Not to mention the challenging courses, push to get involved in student organizations and stress of making lifelong friendships.

Whew, that’s a lot on my plate.

Little things, like suddenly noticing the overflowing pile of dirty laundry in the closet and needing to venture to the laundry room hidden in the stuffy basement or realizing just how far the bathroom at the end of the hallway is and that it does not allow for getting ready last-minute, suddenly become the real challenges.

Honestly, I am still too afraid to set foot on a bus. With many routes crisscrossing every which way across campus, who knows where I will end up if I get on one?

I have a plan — or at least I like to think that I have it all figured out. In my head, I have neat days filled with academics and socialization. My planner can agree with this, as every moment of my life is mapped out in advance.

My obsessive attention to detail is finally coming in handy as the various meetings and functions that I am interested in happen one after another, usually at opposite ends of campus. I’ve never been much of a speed walker, but lately I have had to kick it into high gear. Even if I pump my arms and turn my feet over quickly, upperclassmen who have many more semesters of experience than I do seem to saunter by me.

I am considering investing in a bike, but that may be a safety hazard to the entire community. Since my training wheel days, I have only been the occasional beach bike rider. With cars, scooters and pedestrians lining the roads and sidewalks, Lance Armstrong-ing my way to class may not be the safest mode of travel.

In Gainesville, there is always something that needs to be done, new people to meet and a new site to explore.

I’m living day-to-day, trying to make sense of the commotion around me. Learning new things is wonderful, but having hundreds of them hurled at my head constantly is reason enough for a migraine.

I will need to learn the bus system just to replenish my supply of Advil and Diet Coke. I am ecstatic to be a Gator, but that doesn’t mean I am obligated to become a Pepsi fan.

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On the upside, the classification of “freshman” basically equates to a year of trial and error. There is no shame in having a full-scale meal plan, walking around with a map or getting locked out of the dorm room in just a towel. If nothing else, these adventures will make for great stories in the years to come.

Without majors set in stone, freshmen can take classes and join clubs based on their interests, not what is required of them. Every new student needs to be involved; the opportunities that this campus has to offer are unlimited. But some of the best-kept opportunities require a little digging.

I’ve always been a goal-setter, but I occasionally lose sight of what I’m really after. This year, I don’t want to become lost in what’s going on around me.

My freshman goal is to find my passion and fully commit to it.

Status: In progress.

Abby Wolz is a health science freshman at UF. Her column appears on Thursdays. You can contact her at opinions@alligator.org.

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