So the first day was move-in day, and it was definitely very, very hectic.
There's so many people. I almost felt like I was walking on eggshells, and I realized that there was no reason to do that.
It definitely wasn't what I thought it was going to be.
It's a whole new place, a whole new world. You don't really know what to expect just yet.
It was definitely something new to me, new to my culture because I don't come from a country where people go away to school.
I was just really nervous about meeting my roommate for the first time and actually, like, getting to know her.
I remember, I actually went to the school store and bought myself an MSU sweatshirt, which is, like, the smallest thing, but it made me feel more pride in my school.
The work and being able to fit in just – it all seemed to click into place, like a puzzle.
To me, everything seemed like a new adventure, a new journey, so I was very excited to move to campus.
You have arrived at the place where you have the potential to become the person that you want to be. You have all kinds of strengths and abilities that you haven't discovered yet. And this is the place where you will find them.
I love the campus. It looks like Italy to me, the pictures, and the way the buildings are formatted, and the red and the white.
It's such a mixture of all these different professions that people are growing into. It's almost like a video game, walking through all the different areas of the land that you walk through, you're going to see a guy in a business suit and then you're going to see someone in tights doing ballet two seconds later. There's, like, a little border there. It's really cool. It's a cool mix.
Getting involved on campus with campus organizations was what definitely made me feel like home. And just meeting new people that I will soon call family.
The activities I was involved in and the chances I took introduced me to people who I know are going to be in my life forever. And there's always something going on, you just need to look for it. There's so many opportunities, but you have to go and find them. They're not going to sit there and go after you. You need to go after them.
Of course, we have all kinds of programs, hundreds of majors and minors. But there are lectures, and there are performances, clubs and organizations, athletics, internships, research. You need to give it everything you've got.
I put too much pressure on myself, for sure, in terms of getting really good grades or writing the perfect essay. But whenever I needed help, I would always go to the Center for Writing Excellence. My personal advisors were always there for me.
The professors and my advisors, they do not want to see you fail. They encourage you all to time and reassure you that just take one day at a time.
You're not just a student, you're a person. You're growing and finding yourself.
When you come to college, you don't really think that you're going to change. Everybody likes to believe that they're very authentic and that they're going to be the same person for the rest of their life. But I feel like through all of my experiences here at Montclair State, all of the clubs that I've joined, all of my parking tickets, everything, everything has made me change. Everything has made me look at life differently.
I'm a lot stronger and a lot more independent, and I can stand by myself. And I know that no matter what happens after here, I'm going to be OK, and I'll be able to take on the world by myself.
I am more involved in things that I never thought I was going to be involved. And I have Montclair to thank for that.
You wouldn't be here if we didn't believe in you. So welcome to Montclair State University, Red Hawks. This is your time to soar.