First Year Reflections: The University of Oregon

By Sherpa Lauren Johnson The University of Oregon is a place full of life and spirit. For me, the first couple of weeks were filled with exploring the beauty of the campus and meeting an overwhelming number of new people. It felt like summer camp without the lingering feeling that this incredible experience was only temporary. As the weeks went by, routines formed and I began to think I was fully immersed in all U of O had to offer. However, the amazing thing about the University of Oregon is no matter how many of the aspects of the college experience I have already learned, I continue to discover so many more. Just driving through the streets of Eugene I stumble upon random little things, like houses with sunflowers painted all over them, houses that are turned into tea parlors, and secret gardens. “Only in Eugene” rushes through my mind as a small smile forms on my face. The University of Oregon is a place where just walking to class you feel a part of something bigger, a part of a family, where strangers full of joy and excitement will shout “Sco Ducks!” back and forth to each other across the street on any given day. This is a place that makes the first …

First Year Reflections: Tufts University

By Sherpa Emma Conroy At Tufts, every decision you make is valued. People will always respect you, no matter what you choose to do in with your time here: there are so many ways to have the “Tufts Experience,” and we all know that our own experience is no more correct or valuable than anyone else’s experience. There will always be someone who wants to do what you want to do, and everyone is so friendly that the friends of your friends are instantly your friends too!

First Year Reflections: University of Chicago

By Sherpa Caitlin Piccirillo-Stosser The University of Chicago really has its own culture that every student seems to immediately understand upon first starting school. This culture means that as soon as you spend a couple days on campus, immersed in everything U Chicago, you come to understand something about everyone else in your class, on your floor, that you pass by as you walk through campus: everyone who goes to UChicago understands each other on some level, because of this unique culture and the fact that all of us experience it. U Chicago is a school that, even though it’s obviously extremely competitive, doesn’t feel cutthroat at all. In fact, we are encouraged by our professors to have study groups and to work together on our homework. I think the best thing about UChicago is the feeling of community that being a student here creates. Even if you’re walking through campus alone or grabbing a quick bite at the dining hall in between classes, you know that all the students around you share a similar set of experiences that only UChicago students can know. The feeling of community is all around: it’s in the Hogwarts-style housing system, it’s in the classes, it’s in the RSOs (Recognized Student Organizations). …

First Year Reflections: University of Washington

The University of Washington is a magical place. Sometimes I feel as if I am being filmed because the amount of beauty and good times to be had here is unreal. Maybe I have found the right friends or happened upon the right places, but I hope that UW will make you feel the same way. Although attending UW is the best choice I’ve ever made, one thing to keep in mind as you’re going through the first few months at school is that you might not immediately know whether the choice was right for you. No matter what school you choose, you’ll rarely make your best friends right away. I found all of my closest friends in the last quarter of my freshman year, but I still managed to have a great time with the people I met in between. Part of not making friends right away is going to be your ever-present FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out. Learn to love this acronym: everyone will experience FOMO at one point or another, especially in our age of constant Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat updates of people who look like they’re having more fun than you. Just remember that even people who make their good friends right away have FOMO. Don’t let the incessant …