Born and raised in Crystal Lake, Illinois, moving to Minnesota for college was a bit of an adjustment. I was uprooting my life and moving four hours northwest from where I had grown up for many years. To say that I was nervous to begin college would be an understatement.

Excited Anticipation

Leading up to the school year, I wondered where I would fit in – how am I going to make my mark on this new community that I will soon call home? I was determined to make new friends and excited to establish a life for myself. My first semester was supposed to be a blast.

The Uncomfortable

I arrived at WSU and, like many freshman, was overwhelmed. I felt lost in a sea of people and sights that were foreign to me.

Through the hustle and bustle of the first semester I struggled to make friends. I knew no one except for my roommate and I yearned to find my niche. It seemed like everyone already knew each other and had blossoming friendships – I began to ponder what I was doing wrong.

Spending most of my time alone was getting old, so I decided to take action and see what our campus community had to offer. It was not until I ventured out of my comfort zone that I finally got involved with the community I am a part of to this day.

Finding Comfort in the Uncomfortable

I started small with establishing friendships on the floor of my residence hall. One morning I propped my bedroom door open to show my neighbors they could come say hi. That same day, I decided to study in the floor lounge to maybe meet other girls on my floor studying.One hello led to another, and I found myself attending floor dinners that my RA created on Monday nights with the girls I had meMt. As corny as it sounds, the ladies on my floor wound up being some of the best friends I have ever had!

I decided to continue my adventurous streak and went to one of the club fairs on campus. As I browsed the tables, I looked to sign up for a few clubs to test the waters. There was a club for every weird recreational or academic hobby you could ever have, including one of mine. My hidden love has always been hula-hooping and our campus even had a club for that!

Nothing made me feel more at home than that fun, recreational club WSU offered. I wound up being welcomed into a group of guys and girls that shared the same love of playing with a plastic circle and jamming out to music. This sense of community was exactly what I needed.

Now I find myself enjoying my final semester at my second home, WSU. As I reflect on my last four years here, I feel incredibly grateful for the community that I am a part of now and always will be.

The Warrior community has inspired me to always get outside of my shell and be the best person that I can be. WSU has pushed me to be comfortable being uncomfortable, which was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. This community has inspired me to get out into the world and make a difference – I know my fellow Warriors share the same feelings.

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Claire Bowman

Claire is from Crystal Lake, IL and majoring in English Literature & Language with a minor in Creative Writing. Her hobbies include music, poetry, hula hooping and a variety of outdoor activities.

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