At the time I’m writing this, I am coming to the end of my first year at Tulane. I’ve booked my flight home, and though I still have some time, I’m already freaking out about finals. I want to reflect a little on what a year this has been, both the good and the bad, and hopefully provide y’all with some advice on how to handle your own transition to Tulane.
In a word, my first year has been very unconventional. I committed to Tulane at the start of quarantine, when it was considered lucky to have even gotten to visit the school. I connected with a ton of people online through the Facebook group and subsequent Snapchat and Instagram groups. I found a roommate pretty quickly through those, as well as a few groups of people that I was looking forward to meeting. Once I got to school, I had to quarantine for a few days before officially moving on to campus. During that time, I finally met my roommate, and the two of us talked for hours. Unfortunately, she was unaware that she had Covid. After a long series of calls with Tulane Campus Health, we knew that the best course of action was a two-week quarantine. I was fortunate enough to stay off campus with my mom for the time, but I missed all of orientation as well as the first week of classes. My case advisor and professors were all understanding and accommodating, but there was nothing that could be done about the time that I was missing by being confined to a room alone. During this time, I would have to keep my phone across the room, just because seeing all the people that I was so excited to meet explore New Orleans and form friendships without me was pretty heartbreaking. I talked to my roommate, also quarantined, and one friend I had been speaking to just about every day, and the three of us got each other through it.
Once I was finally out (I moved in during a hurricane, might I add), I could not join student life fast enough. I was so eager to catch up on what I had missed, I invited everyone in my dorm to come by and see my room, went on a ton of late-night Insomnia Cookie trips with different people, and joined just about every club that interested me. I was happy to find that, even though I didn’t have orientation, everyone was still very open to making friends and meeting new people. My roommate and I grew very close with our suitemates, then the boys who lived next door, who were friends with the girls on the second floor, who were friends with- Well, you get the picture. First semester was all solidifying a solid friend group and exploring new classes and clubs. Second semester has mostly been the same, though I’m a lot more adjusted now, and there’s been new challenges, but everything I’ve learned has given me the tools to handle whatever comes my way. Those first two weeks, when I was so upset about coming to campus late, it felt like my world was ending. Looking back, I would love to reassure that quarantined girl to have trust in the process, and trust in herself.
I hope you all have the most amazing first year at Tulane, but I also hope that you’re able to learn from any challenges that are thrown your way. Roll Wave!
Isabel, First-Year Five 2021