We asked six first years to tell us what they wish they knew before starting at Bowdoin. These are their responses.
“I’ve had a lot more fun this year than I was expecting to have. I think there’s something really unique about college in that it’s separate from the rest of the world. We’re these quasi-adults with these quasi-adult responsibilities.”
-Aida Muratoglu ’21
“I think when I got to college first I was kind of self-conscious about what my reputation was going to be or what other people would think about me, but then realized that I don’t really think that much about [it]—I don’t really spend that much time thinking about anybody else, so no one’s thinking about me that much.”
-Nick Purchase ’21
“At the beginning of the year I felt like a lot of people were close to their roommates, and I just didn’t have that. I felt weird about that—like, was that a me problem? Is this a thing I should be working towards? But, I’ve found that I settled into friend groups that aren’t necessarily within my living situation, which I love, because I love my friends.”
-Ayana Harscoet ’21
“I thought it would be really difficult transitioning, but more of the sense that neither of my parents went to college, so they had no idea what to tell me. I was coming here really confused and scared about how I would be able to… behave myself in a way that would allow me to get through school but also to make a lot of friends and establish myself here. But Bowdoin really made an effort to make everyone feel welcomed.”
-Dylan Bess ’21
“I thought I’d just feel really isolated up here, because I grew up in a really suburban/urban area. I thought that the Maine environment would make me feel closed off from the rest of the world or something. Which is kind of an exaggerated feeling, but when I came here I really felt the sense of community on campus and it made it feel really big.
Oh, god, I just feel like a brochure every time I talk. They’ve brainwashed me.”
-Daniel Mayer ’21
“Honestly I expected it would be tough transitioning from West Coast to East Coast, but just in terms of diversity, the campus community has provided a versatile student body. It is diverse enough to make it feel like I have not really changed surroundings but rather travelled to a more varied community, filled with a variety of perspectives. The hardest thing has been the personality of East coast people—they’re a little bit ruder.”
– Ben Zevallos ’21