Welcome to My College Experience, a new blog series chronicling the college adventures of CAP alumni. Our first entry features the second-semester experiences of Mariah Holden, a freshman at NYU. Mariah discusses her many first year adventures and documents the ways in which she learned to handle college challenges. Check it out below!
Mariah Holden: Freshman, New York University
My second semester at NYU has definitely proven to be just as adventurous as the first. From having paint thrown on me at a Holi Week Festival, to a city-wide pillow fight, to crashing a show at Fashion Week, to poetry slams, to joining the school radio to finals, my freshman year was truly one to remember.
As an incoming freshman I was a little intimidated by the classroom. I thought I would have to compete with Einsteins and brainiacs, but it turned out the workload I received in Liberal Studies was predominately reading and writing oriented, which are two of my strong suits. Second semester was more challenging than first semester, but I was still able to manage a work-study job and I even joined NYU’s news radio, WNYU, as a news reporter and correspondent. Working for the radio station was definitely a fun and educational experience. In the fall, I will be switching to Gallatin School of Individualized Studies within NYU to major in Journalism and Media, Culture and Communication. My experiences with WNYU helped me truly identify which types of journalism I like best. It was a weird experience to speak into a mic but the interactive dialogue with my co-host helped me to be more personable rather than a monotone script reader.
There were moments when school, work, roommate drama and extracurricular activities get to be physically, mentally, and emotionally draining but thankfully the friendships I established and my faith in God helped rejuvenate me when times got tough. I think it’s vitally important to establish a support group, or network of friends that genuinely care about you because they become your family away from home. And the best way to do that is to pursue your interests and to not feel the need to go and do things that aren’t you. When you pursue your passions you surround yourself with people who share that same interest and, more importantly, people begin to like you for your true self and not a superficial exterior.
The best advice I can truly offer is to come to New York, or go somewhere you’ve always dreamt of going. I guarantee the actual place is better than the dream. This year, through my studies I’ve learned about the psychological and societal repercussions of ostracizing homeless people versus our idolatrous treatment of celebrities; I have learned about the ubiquity of genetically modified organisms, their benefits and environmental consequences; and I have taken away the beautiful, ever changing, fast pace, and colorful culture of New York City.