making stuff exploring the James being messy stompin' to live music vegan food
January 17, 2015
As I write this post on a plane 50,000 feet in the air, it’s the perfect place to reflect on my first semester as a first year at University of Richmond.
To be frank, I was skeptical about how I would fit in, what my role would be on this gigantic stage they call college. I imagine that I am not the only person who feels this way. I don’t think the process of transitioning into a new chapter of their lives is ever pretty. (Particularly if you find yourself groaning on the floor of the library at 5 A.M., wondering how you could possibly go on with this god-forsaken paper.)
(Oh, yes. We’ve all been there.)
But you do it. Simultaneously, you feel elevated above the clouds while actually being there.
The adventures and the people within them are encapsulated in my first semester seem somewhat impossible. I’m doing art that I never imagined I’d be making (which is good), I have a radio show on WDCE at least twice per week, I get off of campus fairly often, I volunteer with a community organization I believe in, and all of my limbs are intact. Now that I’ve reached the end of this semester, I’m already gearing up for next one.
Being skeptical from the beginning was probably good for me. It convinced me to seek out my own forms of personal fulfillment. Through the subtle anxiety that I didn’t quite belong, I purposely sought an experience outside the general expectations of college.
So here’s my advice for a successful first semester of college, hopefully without being too didactic. Obviously, you should mix in whatever else you like doing. Heck yeah, you should go to a football game. But everyone knows about those, so I won’t bother to include it here. Go wild!
IZZY’S FIRST SEMESTER MANIFESTO
Take a class or two that you have no experience with that piques your interest
Know the bus schedule. Experience Richmond in all its capacities.
Visit the CCE. There are a lot of opportunities and cool people to hang out with there.
When you’re eating with D-Hall, sit with people you haven’t met before. Even after a semester, you won’t have met everyone worth meeting.
Don’t eat at D-hall 3 meals a day. If you have an extra $10 bucks to blow, try Don’t Look Back Tacos in Carytown.
Don’t just stay on one side of campus, especially the side your dorm is on.
Get a bike. Don’t leave it unlocked.
Explore Booker Hall and the Modlin Center. The music library is the best place to study.
We have three galleries on campus that are worth discovering. Check ‘em out!
Spend some time sitting on the floor of Chop Suey in Carytown pouring over books.
Listen to WDCE 90.1 FM, the campus radio station (shameless promotion here).
Go see live music. It’s good for you.
CLAIM YOUR EDUCATION.
My name is Isabella, casually known as Izzy. I'm a kid from the swamp (South Florida) who came to Richmond to explore- my surroundings, my academic and artistic interests, and my personal self. When I stumbled upon UR, I was a high-school senior at Dreyfoos School of the Arts who was swimming (or perhaps drowning) in a sea of college applications and presentation, unaware of where I would be in less than a year. It's exciting to be a newly born spider, one who is released upon this beautiful campus, with no other goal than to get as much out of my educational experiences as possible. As a Spider diarest, I will try to recount my adventures in their fullness as I foray across The Commons, The James River, and the downtown art scene with only a bike and a backpack. Hold on to your handlebars folks, I'm intent on chasing the opportunities and the oddities just beyond the pointed arches....