Ryen Cinski ’22
In high school I took Spanish, played volleyball, and went to National Honor Society meetings. I did all these things because I felt that I should, and to be completely honest, I wasn’t fully invested in any of them. While I did find enjoyment in them at times, I found that I was doing them because my friends were or because I knew they’d look good on a resume. I did these activities for years, and after a while they began to blend into my daily routine, becoming as mundane as washing my hands.
I was constantly anxious to put myself out there, especially when it came to applying to colleges. With a guidance counselor who told me that every school was a “reach school” (I later found out that they really weren’t), I was hesitant. After being accepted to Holy Cross, I was excited, but like many other soon-to-be freshman, I began to think about how daunting the whole “making friends” process was. Here I was, leaving all the friends that I’d known for years, packing up and going to a new place where I knew no one.
After arriving at school for move-in day, I allowed myself to meet new people and enjoy the fact that I could start over. I made good friends, yet I still felt a bit out of place. Adjusting to a new place can be incredibly daunting. We’ve all had that moment during the first week where we look out our dorm window and see a group of twenty girls, all dressed in black, walking and talking and ready to go out, and we wonder: How do they all already know each other????? There is an immense pressure on freshman to find friends immediately and cling to each other for dear life. Not to worry though, as eventually everything will calm down and you’ll meet people who are right for you.
As the year moved on and I found myself enjoying my classes and my friends, I still had a desire to meet more people and try more things. As I stated, I was nervous to try new things. I had had the typical high school experience: Played a sport, Spanish every year, National Honor Society. I then began to consider my luck and how fortunate I was to have so many things available to me, and I went out to try things.
I am now an editor for the Opinions section of The Spire, an RPE (Relationship Peer Educator — Check us out) and an intramural volleyball player. In the past, I’ve also been part of SPUD and Arabic Club. Each of these activities has been so rewarding as I’ve met new people and stepped outside of my comfort zone, all while giving myself a chance to find out what I am passionate about. So, to anyone who is feeling the same way that I did, here are some things that I learned.
- Take classes that will teach you about things you’ve never known.Spanish is a beautiful and important language to learn, but I decided to take Arabic for the entirety of my freshman year. This was my favorite subject to date that I’ve taken because it taught me to work incredibly hard and to appreciate other cultures. Since I was in Arabic classes, I joined Arabic Club which was once a week and we did various things such as watching movies, learning slang, drinking coffee and playing games. I took Arabic on a whim and ended up loving it.
- Join Clubs! As Holy Cross students, we sometimes find ourselves feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Clubs are a nice way to step away from your work and to put focus into something else. They also give you a chance to meet new people and to discover your interests. Arabic Club, as I stated, was amazing, and everything else that I’ve tried has been as well. In being a part of various things, I was able to narrow my interests down and enjoy the things that I’m passionate about.
- 3. Give yourself time to adjust and let yourself enjoy things.Admittedly, I’ve always been a bit of a pessimist (an awful way to be, don’t do this). I’ve since grown and tried to step out of that but looking back I realize that it made a lot of things hard for me. You should never do anything with half-effort, give it your all. Why involve yourself in something if you’re not going to give it your 100% and embrace it?