“Lost and Found”

Throughout our lives, we leave objects behind and can never find them again.We search and rifle through our belongings only to turn up empty handed. But there is that rare moment when we stumble across exactly what we have been looking for all along.Perhaps the same can be said for oneself.Is it truly possible to lose oneself to the point where you must make a valiant effort to find who you are and where you are going with your life?

The sense of losing oneself seems to be the prototype among almost all college freshmen.The moment finally arrives.There they go, as they walk hesitantly away from their parents and jump into a new environment all on their own.Mom is no longer there to wake them up in the morning, and Dad is no longer there to be over-protective of them.It is all up to them.

Soon, the long and tedious study nights start to take place.As they sit and stare at a blank computer screen, they begin to think, “What did I get myself into?”The cushy world of high school is far behind and the thought of fun is quickly driven away by the nine-page paper due the next day.This “growing” experience no longer becomes part of the American dream, but the American nightmare.

Rachel Etzweiler, a Bloomsburg University freshman says, “I felt really lonely.It was a brand new experience and I was not really sure how to take all of the changes.”

The feelings of loneliness and the loss of oneself are not only common, but normal for a college freshman to experience.“I was so lost and lonely and for the first month or two,” Etzweiler said. “I kept saying I was going to quit college.”

Freshman wander around the campus for the first month, usually insecure about their surroundings and their feelings.“Will I stay at Bloomsburg? Are my friends from home having this much trouble? What happens if I picked the wrong major?”

Meandering around the campus, contemplating their life decisions, they worry about their Astronomy exam at 2 o’clock, and the struggle to make it through their first semester of college.

The worst part about the aimless amble around campus is not having anyone to walk with.For most, college is a place to make new friends, something which most college freshman haven’t had to work at since kindergarten.

As the stroll continues, more questions plague the mind: “Will I make good friends at school? Will I have someone to confide in besides my stuffed bear that I have had since I was 5 years old?”Rachel Etzweiler, while contemplating her impending finals says, “I hated not fitting in and I hated not having friends.”

After five more minutes of walking, the inevitable question hits: “Will I ever find myself again?”

The simple answer: Yes.For those taking that long and lonely stroll on the sidewalks of the Bloomsburg University campus, you will find yourself.You will remember and uncover who you are once again.You will not only find the person you have lost, but you will find a new person that has come out of a growing experience during your first semester of college.

Etzweiler says, “Once I started getting used the classes and the way things worked, I started to feel comfortable with being here and in the profession I chose to study”After waiting an entire semester to remember who you are and finding who you will become, it will hit; that “ahhh!” moment that we all wait for.The moment comes when you realize that the work load is not actually as bad as it was made out to be in the beginning, friends seem to find you, and you have a strong urge to tell everyone how much you love college.

Finally, you realize that you have a social life and things are not always as bad as they seem.

“My social life is good and now things are good,” Etzweiler says.For someone who was lost at the beginning of the semester, Etzweiler seems to have found herself and her future potential at Bloomsburg University.She found the niche that will define her college career and the rest of her future.She found everything that she was looking for.

For those who have already found themselves, congratulation is in order.You have managed to get through the toughest part of college.For those college freshman who feel that they will never find themselves, just give it time.In time, all that is lost will be found, but you have to put in the effort and do a little digging to find yourself.

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