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First-year Park Scholars share their experiences with the transition to collegiate life at IC
Thursday, November 8, 2012
By Anne Bongermino '16
It’s a term most recent high school grads are familiar with. It’s whispered through hallways and discussed by concerned young adults throughout the summer preceding their first semester. They debate the validity of the rumors they’ve heard, and try to determine if they are susceptible to the infamous condition. When they ask their orientation leaders, peer advisers, and upperclassmen friends, they are commonly met with a flippant confirmation or a meek, “Well, it’s not really a problem here…”
Truthfully, with the twelve flights of stairs I’m required to climb to get from the Park School to my dorm, I did not expect to be so affected.
However, I failed to take into account the twelve main courses offered in the dinning halls each day (okay, perhaps that’s an exaggeration). Still, I wasn’t used to the plethora of tasty food. Not to mention the virtually unlimited quantities of Purity ice cream in one dining hall. Combine all of this with an unlimited meal plan, and I had a recipe for disaster.
While I’ll admit that the long study sessions spent lounging in the back of dining hall have begun to take their toll, I have found a way to stave off the worst of the notorious “freshmen fifteen.” At the very beginning of the semester, I went with a group of friends to a Zumba exercise class. I was a bit nervous at first. I’d never gone to one before, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, when the upbeat, catchy music began and the instructor cheered on the class with incredible enthusiasm, I found myself laughing and dancing along.
I returned to that class week after week, even after some of my friends lost interest or no longer had the time. I even added two more classes to my weekly routine, as well as setting aside a couple hours per week to work out on the elliptical by myself.
As someone who has always been health conscious, though never particularly athletic, it came as a surprise to me how much I enjoy being so active. Sometimes, my Monday night Zumba class is the highlight of my week. It’s been such a great way to relax during stressful periods and enjoy myself.
It all goes back to the other phrase orientation leaders, peer advisors, and upperclassmen would say: “You’ll get to try new things and discover stuff you never thought you’d like.” For me, Zumba is only the tip of the iceberg. I’ve also made it a habit to watch a movie I’ve never seen before with my friends every couple of weeks. I’m also taking a graphic design class and discovering how much I miss math.
There are so many new cool and exciting things I’ve been able to try since arriving at Ithaca, and it’s made me more aware of who I am and what I enjoy. I can’t wait to take more classes, explore new hobbies, and really discover what my passions are.
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