Senior Column: Popping the bubble



Kelly Petryszyn

Kelly Petryszyn

Kelly Petryszyn is a senior magazine journalism major and an assigning editor for the Daily Kent Stater.

Kent State is a bubble. It is a microcosm of society that exists within the 866 acres of the main campus. Its people and places are its own.

When I came to Kent State as a freshman, I can recall being scared out of my wits. I lived in North Royalton my entire life and never had to experience being the “new person.”

Before I departed, I remember sitting in a parking lot at Panera with my best friend sobbing about how I didn’t think I could leave everything that is familiar to go someplace new.

So I did the only thing I could: take advantage of every opportunity. I went to every Week of Welcome event and struck up a conversation with everyone I met. I realized that us freshmen were all like lost fish swimming around trying to find something to cling on to. Within the first few days, I met friends that would become my family.

I quickly learned I had no reason to be scared but many to be excited. I lived on campus all four years and call the dorms my home. I became accustomed to the glory that is a meal plan and reacquainted myself with a pot and stove when I had a kitchen instead.

I found a support system in the people I met in Olson Hall and at Cru. I found love, too, which I had never experienced before I came to college. Most of all, I found that I could be OK on my own in a new place with new people.

Underclassmen, I encourage you to find a new life here. I encourage you to attend the events that interest you. I encourage you to talk to that person you never thought you could talk to.

It’s fine. You’re not the person you were in high school. The past has no hold on you here.

Experience new things. College is the one time in your life when you can be a little bit selfish and spend four years figuring out who you are. Don’t waste the opportunity.

I spent these years creating a new life – a safe little bubble where the new me exists, and the old me is just a distant memory.

But as I did four years ago, I have to leave. I have to leave my family. I have to leave my cramped dorm room. I even have to say goodbye to my furry friends — the black squirrels. I have to bid farewell to staying up into the wee hours at Rosie’s or Jazzman’s and forgetting about the responsibilities that loom over my head.

But it’s time. At one point or another, you have to move on and rebuild. I am ready. I can feel the fragile walls of my college bubble closing in around me.