Put Yourself Out There and Happiness will Follow

Let’s be real, entering a new environment is generally horrifying. For freshman entering college for the first time, it tends to be just that. Now in my senior year, I would like to believe that I have become wiser in my four years at SUNY New Paltz and with wisdom comes the inevitable advice! 

I came to SUNY New Paltz in 2015 scared sh*tless. I instantly dug myself into a hole by telling myself, “You’re not going to make any friends, you’ll never find a group you fit in with,” all the typical crap that comes along with fear of the unknown. The first few months were tough, but I eventually put myself out there and met my first group of friends. One of those friends was former Oracle managing editor, Rob Piersall.

Rob and I were super close. We would watch and talk sports all the time, get food and even play card games with the rest of the guys in the lounge of Bliss Hall. At the time, Rob was writing for a New York Mets blog called Metsmerized, and I was quickly mesmerized.    

Sophomore year was when everything changed. My freshman year friends and I were set on suites. With a total of twelve of us, we had to split up. Unfortunately for my group, we had last priority and were forced to move into an eight-man suite in Deyo hall. That meant the worst. The dreaded “randos.” 

I turned to my friends and told them the news. There wasn’t much reaction, just looks of disappointment except for my one friend Rob Kirgan who said, “who knows, maybe one of them will end up being one of our best friends.”

All summer long I was anxiously trying to figure out who these randomly assigned roommates were. Are they foreign exchange students? What are their interests? And most importantly, are they as*holes? 

Summer came and went and before I knew it I was back. To my surprise the “randos” were actually transfers and happened to live just 15 minutes away from my hometown in Westchester. All eight of us hit it off, and slowly but surely one “rando,” Chris Finnegan, became one of our best friends. 

During my junior year, I received a text from someone I had lost touch with, Rob Piersall. He said that he had an opening in the sports section, and knew that I was a rabid sports fan and journalism minor. I accepted without hesitation. 

Currently in my senior year, I’m happy to say that I have not only been a member of The Oracle for three semesters but still live with my same friends from sophomore year, including the “rando,” Chris. 

To any freshmen who are having a hard time, my advice to you is twofold. One, don’t try to predict your journey because more often than not, things will turn out much different than you expect. Take it slow, one step at a time. And two, don’t limit yourself. There are so many opportunities here at New Paltz, and if you’re not as lucky as I was to have one fall in your lap, go out and get it.