I am writing this article on Sunday, April 17th. I’m looking forward to the next three and a half weeks left in my stuffy, freshman dorm room. It’s funny, I so clearly remember moving in. It was a boiling August day as I walked into Monroe Hall, feeling a little apprehensive about my new atmosphere. To be completely honest, this adjustment is still too slow for comfort. Even now, I find myself feeling lost and yearning for the comfort of home. Change is a difficult process, and the unknown makes my skin crawl. In high school, I thrived off of working 9-to-5 with few breaks between academics, extracurricular activities, and sports commitments. Nonetheless, I have found ways to enjoy my different lifestyle in college. I am grateful to have supportive friends, belong to a bustling school community, and live in such an eclectic city. However, I still believe there are a ton of potential new adventures waiting for me when I break out of my comfort zone.
Upon returning from spring break, rejuvenated and prepared to tackle the final weeks of the semester, reality began to dawn on me. I will never get these moments back; regardless of how much “adjusting” I still believed I had to do. With this in mind, I attempted to change my mindset from what it was at the beginning of April. It hasn’t been easy, but the positive outcomes far outweigh any lingering fears of change at the back of my brain. I tried more restaurants than I had all semester; leading me to realize I was really missing out on a lot. Highlights include Val’s Sweet Potato Tacos, and French Truck Coffee’s Vanilla Iced Chai Lattes.
I also continued making a conscious effort to spend my free time doing things I enjoy. I traveled around Uptown New Orleans to find the best workout studios–I personally love CycleBar–and have brought my friends along for the ride (literally). I finally made it to some spots in the city I had down on my bucket list, including Tipitina’s and the Ashley Longshore Studio Gallery. This list also included other activities like group fitness classes at Reily (especially Cycle 45 on Mondays from 5:30-6:15 with Jeff Schiffman), walks in Audubon Park, and 3-hour long dinners at the Commons. Sometimes, the best part of college was spending time with friends eating bowls full of chocolate soft serve and Cinnamon Toast Crunch (it’s the best Commons combination in my opinion). I am thrilled to realize that my enjoyment of these activities has also shifted. I look up from my phone more, and am less distracted by irrelevant drama.
Overall, my love for New Orleans has skyrocketed as I opened my eyes to the opportunities in front of me. I was blinded by fear, unfamiliarity, and an ocean of worry. However, today I see opportunity, friendship, and the chance to flourish in a supportive environment. I have made it successfully through two semesters at Tulane, and time is flying. I am writing this article for your enjoyment, but also to show you how NOT to begin your freshman year of college. Lastly, this is a tribute to what my life has become.
Do not be afraid of change; I’ve been there, and it isn’t worth the time. Jump in head first with no regrets. I wish I did it this way from day one. You owe it to yourself to be fearless. If you do, I have no doubt you’ll also find your way.
Cover Photo: Elizabeth Donchey
Bailey is the Assistant Editor for College Life. She is a Sophomore majoring in Marketing and Management and minoring in Psychology. She loves to write about her experiences and give advice to her peers. When she isn't writing, you can find her at Riley or her favorite New Orleans restaurant Satsuma.