A few weeks ago, I flipped through a journal that I wrote during my first Welcome Week at Mac.
I was excited as ever for this huge chapter of my life to start. I wrote about how excited I was to meet my new friends in real life after meeting them in the Class of 2018 Facebook group. I wrote out my plans, from parties to outfits to events that I didn’t want to miss.
The next few pages had a wildly different feel to them. I wrote about how regretful I was about choosing McMaster and how badly I wanted to drop out because my experiences hadn’t lived up to my expectations. I thought that I’d feel happier or more at home somewhere else.
It’s an unspoken tradition for the Editor-in-Chief to pen a welcome letter to new marauders. They’re cheesy and nice, warning first years not to miss their morning classes or explaining that getting involved is key.
Both of these things are true, sure. Losing that 10 per cent for participation is a bummer and it’s important to make meaningful connections in university. The most important piece of advice that I can think of, though, is to know that if McMaster doesn’t feel like home yet, that’s okay.
It’s hard to feel at home when you’re in between a lot of things. It’s also hard to feel genuinely at home when you’re being yelled at by upper years for a week straight. First year is an anxiety-induced fever dream if I can remember it correctly, but you’ll find your place at one point or another.
If you don’t ever feel at home here, I hope you find somewhere you do. Until then, enjoy your time here. Consider it your home for now. Make lasting connections with the people around you and ignore that feeling telling you that you should feel differently. You’re here. You’ve made it.