I remember talking to friends as we discussed going away to college. Some of my friends were going to college much closer than I was. They would be able to trek home if a week was too crazy and sleep in their own beds. The others couldn’t wait because they were sooooo excited that they were finally going to be far enough from their mom that she wouldn’t be able to nag them about taking out the trash.

Me: no such luck. I knew it was time for me to leave the nest, but this was my first real time being away from my parents, siblings, and the safety net of living in the same place for almost two decades. I had gone to summer camp a couple times, but that was always less than a week before I got to be back in the comfort of my favorite spot on the couch. I was excited, don’t get me wrong, but I was equally terrified. Was I going to be able to take care of myself? Would I be able to make new friends? Would I remember to eat?

Then I finally arrived on campus and got thrown into the glory that is college life. Was I going to be able to take care of myself? My RAs and WUSAs made that fear melt away as they taught me how to work the laundry machines and where the trash room was located. The floor meetings at the beginning year helped answer any questions I would have about living on my own. The people on my floor turned the floor into a home.

Was I going to make new friends? I am not the best at meeting new people, but the people on my floor made it super fun and easy. In less time than one could imagine, I had a brand new base of friends on which I could depend on to help me out when things got tough. And yes, I still remembered to eat once I got to college.

Going away to college can be a terrifying time for some people, but you’ll find that the WashU community is going to envelope you into its arms with tons of love. And while you may not have the pleasure of the same spot on the same couch as you’re used to, you’ll soon find a new place to call your own.