Humans of University of Michigan - Kirsten Lam

Thoughts of an Incoming Michigan Freshman

Ever since I got into the University of Michigan, I’ve been a ball of excitement ready to start a new chapter in my life. It is not like I didn’t enjoy high school, but something about the unknown has both frightened and intrigued me my whole life. I fell in love with the campus and Ann Arbor itself these past few years (The food? Delicious. The Winter Garden and the Arb? Beautiful. Like, I cannot wait to study in them). I could see myself just sitting in the Diag with friends then grabbing a mango boba at Bubble Island. As summer came, my adrenaline just grew. I grabbed the earliest spot for orientation, found myself constantly watching YouTube videos about Michigan (Bella Jung is a GOAT), and reading the umich.edu site several times over. I admit it was a bit excessive, but I couldn’t take my mind off my first year of college being in arm’s reach.

It’s August now, and, though still excited, the nervous feelings have finally started to come to light. My room is in shambles as I pack away the last 18 years of my life, I have to confirm every financial detail to pay for college, I need to fill out job and scholarship applications that I should have done earlier; basically, every waking moment is spent thinking about the upcoming school year. What if I don’t get off the waitlist for the Psych class I want to take? How do I even begin to navigate the site to accept student loans? Will homesickness strike as hard as everyone says it does? I’m only moving a short drive away, yet I feel like I’m going across the galaxy.

I thank my lucky stars that, despite the sudden wave of jitters I’ve been feeling, I know I’ll have the support system I need this year. I finally got in contact with my roommate (I went in blind; daring move, I guess) and so far, she’s been great. I’ve met new friends through the Facebook pages and GroupMe’s who I cannot wait to finally meet in person. In fact, I’m went kayaking with one of them the other day (Note: If you ever go kayaking in Ann Arbor, you WILL get soaked by the cascades; it’s inevitable) . Even if I can’t find my place right away, I have one of my closest friends with me and my family’s just a call away.

With less than three weeks until my college life officially begins, I reflect on the past and hope for the future. Everything I learned and every moment of my childhood has led to my first days as an adult (I am already 18 years old, so legally I’m an adult, but who’s counting?). I feel extremely grateful to have grown up in a supportive household and been given all of my blessings. I’ve learned so many lessons from my family, work, and school I will use throughout my lifetime. There is no doubt these lessons will help me survive college.

Whether it’s meeting hundreds (or thousands) of new people or taking my first Blue Book exam, I do feel nervous. I have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that everything will be okay in the end (for the most part, at least). Yes, there will be a ton of new challenges I need to face and not everything will go as planned, but I cannot let a few nerves or bumps in the road get the best of me. College is the time to grow and become an actual functioning adult, especially from dealing with the unexpected that comes with leaving for college. All I can know for sure is that my time at U of M is what I make it, and I intend on making every minute count. Go Blue!

Kirsten Lam

I am a freshman at the University of Michigan studying business with an interest in art & design. I love anything art-related, traveling, and activism. I am excited to see what new endeavors I take in my first year in college.

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