SCARED. EAGER. CONFIDENT. Those were the steps I went through while transitioning into life in the “city of red.” Initially I was secretly terrified of the journey I was soon to embark upon. I didn’t tell everyone, but the fear was certainly there. The thought of leaving the comfort zone of my high school community, and separating from those I’ve grown to love, cherish, and trust was all but welcoming. It was somehow put into my mind that I was going to become just another body roaming the campus rushing to class.

However, as the countdown to move-in began, my fear soon turned into eagerness. I began marking the days on my calendar, packing clothes, and most importantly school shopping. My move-in day was August 10th for African American Symposium, and my cloud nine instantly dissipated when I opened my dorm room door only to find maintenance working on the walls and painting. They told me my room would not be ready for another day. My heart dropped as I turned and looked at all of my boxes sitting in the hallway. It was a feeling of frustration, and thoughts of “What am I supposed to do now?” This was undoubtedly not the way I had foreseen move-in to play out. Luckily for me, my housing director allowed me to switch rooms with someone that would not be here until the weekend, and I must admit I felt much better.

With that out of my way, I was able to focus on meeting the others in my residence hall, getting to know my way around, and what exactly I needed to know or do to be successful in the Wolfpack community. It was the next phase in my transition. I had my confidence. I was greeted with a smile or welcoming gesture everywhere I turned. The best booster to my confidence was attending orientations and interest meetings; it forced me to meet others outside of my major, and outside of my door. From these activities, friendships and connections have begun to bloom. The friendships that have originated since I’ve been here are ones that I can tell I will need in this four-year journey and maybe even life; the ones who are down to study at noon, or at 11pm. The ones who write you friendly reminders on your doors, or even the ones who offer that silent hug when you truly need one. The confidence I gained has spilled over into my classes, my problem sessions and even just trooping across campus.

I can look back on these few weeks and know that these steps were necessary in my transition to college. I had to stop being afraid of what was to come, and embrace it with an optimistic attitude. I had to take the good with the bad, and keep smiling through it. Last but certainly not least, I had to come out of my shell, and stay out of my shell if I wanted to be more than just a number. I had to embrace being