Growing Up and Growing Out

Liana Teixeira

Walking around campus this past week, I couldn’t help noticing how many faces I didn’t recognize. And to tell you the truth, it was a bit scary.

During the past two years at UNH, I became so used to seeing certain people in classes, clubs or walking across campus. Now, I have reached that point in my college career where the upperclassmen friends I made as a freshman are slowly starting to trickle away.

They graduate. They move on. They change the world. There’s a name for this feeling: it’s called growing up. And for some reason, it hasn’t hit me until now. I am a junior in college and witnessing recent high school graduates take their first steps into a completely new and life-changing environment. I am 19, yet wondering when I became so old.

And do you want to know a secret? I am certainly not the only one thinking this (I’m talking to you, Class of 2016). College has been waiting for you since you eagerly grabbed the diploma from your high school principal.

The friends you grew up with may no longer be a block away. There are more faces to see, more names to memorize. Now, you’re at UNH. You are where so many of us were only a couple of years ago.

You’ve been given the ultimate opportunity to explore your futures and discover who you are. You get to do this surrounded by new friends, interesting professors, and a UNH community ready to support you in any endeavor you choose.

Take advantage of this. UNH is a leader in experiential education for a reason. They offer countless opportunities to get valuable work experience in your field of study, both in the community and abroad.

Get involved in clubs and organizations, play a sport, take a Zumba class (seriously, you’ll thank me later). Write as much as you can, cross it out, and then write it again–because your life stories will branch out farther in the next four years than first drafts could ever capture.

Whether you are a freshman or beginning your senior year, we are all growing up and growing out. I’m not saying it won’t be scary, because it most definitely will be.

Scarier than not seeing the family and friends you grew up with. Scarier than realizing you have been sitting in the wrong class for 15 minutes. Scarier than a hurricane during move-in day (Class of 2015, you know what I’m getting at here).

But one thing I’ve learned is that hurricanes don’t last forever. The sun has to come out sometime. And when it does, you’ll see hundreds of paths to choose from, each holding hundreds of possibilities. Where do you want to start?