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When I started college, everything was new and scary. At least, that’s how I felt—I internalized those feelings completely. Instead, I acted with confidence, as though trying to make new friends in giant lecture halls didn’t scare me.

I can say now though, that everything turned out okay. Eventually, my faux-confidence turned authentic: I bonded easily with my new roommates, my classes were actually interesting, and I really started to appreciate my background— my family, hometown, and upbringing—when I began to build my future. I used my freshman year to build myself up in a completely new setting, and I had a blast.

Go out and seek.

Looking back, I see a couple things that I probably would do differently. However, there’s really one that stands apart: I wish I’d found this newspaper sooner.

The Sentry is a fantastic resource. Not only is it useful for readers, who can scope out university news or get the details on campus-wide events, but it’s also a real community.

Getting involved as a copy editor turned my entire college experience upside down. Before, I didn’t have an exact plan for what I wanted to do post-college (which is fine, and completely normal). As I got on board the Sentry staff, I realized that I want my career after graduation to be rooted in the newspaper industry. Everything started to fall into place.

While I would recommend each and every freshman getting involved with the Sentry in one way or another—through reading us weekly (we come out every Wednesday), liking us on Facebook (CUSentry), or attending one of our pitch meetings (every Thursday evening from 6:30–8 p.m.)—there are other ways to find your niche. For me, it’s the thrill of print and the structure of press.

My best advice is to go out and seek. Look for that niche, and investigate areas of interest on campus. Don’t wait for the opportunities to come to you—as a freshman, own your unlimited possibilities. And, stop by our office (Tivoli 345), to say hi.

—Savannah Nelson

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