Wed. Aug 17th, 2022

It’s a gray and drizzly Monday afternoon, the first of two days that make up West Chester University’s fall break. Like most of you, I too have traveled back home to enjoy the simple yet underrated pleasures of eating a home-cooked meal and taking a shower that is not in a rectangular box. I feel the higher power inside my brain calling on me to write the first draft of my ad analysis for my Writing 120 class, but starting this column somehow feels much more fitting, and not to mention more enjoyable. Even now, as I’m typing up the words and listening to the soft, constant beat of rain on the macadam, it seems like the perfect time to write about college. I’m away from it all, able to look at how things have played out so far with a more fixated point of view.
I suppose the title of this column may need some explanation and clarification. The phrase “so it goes” is one that appears an ample (but not annoying) amount of times in my favorite book, Slaughterhouse Five, by literary master (and that’s putting it lightly), Kurt Vonnegut. It’s usually placed after a story that can range anywhere from uplifting to ironic to poignant, and oftentimes brings some sort of closure and peace to the matter. The phrase seems like the perfect title for a column about college life, because you cannot always predict what will happen, and you will nevertheless just have to roll with the punches.
These past two weeks have been filled with new experiences. The one detail about experiencing something new is that it more often than none has a dual effect. In one respect, engaging in a newfound activity can be exhilaratingly refreshing, and in a whole other respect it can be petrifyingly unfamiliar. Over the past two or so weeks, I took the step to be more social and make more friends, attended a yoga class at the rec center, and (calling all coffee elitists) have tried my first “Pumpkin Spice” latte at Starbucks.
Probably- scratch that, definitely- the most daunting of those experiences was taking the plunge to meet more people. Back in high school, I had my group of friends, and I wasn’t desperately concerned with expanding my social circle. But here at college, you’re kind of dropped in to a pool where you don’t know many people and are almost forced to break down your walls of insecurity and fear. I must admit I was initially nervous to take that first step. However, I eventually saw that other people were just as willing to make new friends as I was. All it took from me was joining in on conversations, notably in my public speaking class. Therefore, my nervousness about the whole matter was completely unneeded and irrelevant. So it goes.
The yoga class was by far the most interesting event I attended in the past two weeks. The whole breathing/relaxation thing may sound cheesy and overrated, but it cleared my mind in ways that I didn’t expect at all. The first 10 minutes of the class consisted of just breathing techniques, and with the soft, peaceful Zen music lingering off in the background, I forgot all of my worries and problems and drifted away to another place (just where exactly, I’m still not sure).
And yes, I am almost regretful to admit this, but I did thoroughly enjoy that pumpkin spice latte. It was comparable to eating the smoothest, creamiest piece of pumpkin pie you could ever encounter, and let’s face it, any hot drink topped with whipped cream is basically guaranteed to taste delicious.
With all of my new and somewhat exhilarating experiences in mind, I still wanted to know what other people had been doing at college.
I decided to ask my public speaking classmate, Carrissa Coppolino, what her most interesting experience had been so far.
“It would have to be having to share a room with a complete stranger, and going to share the bathrooms,” Coppolino said, “because they’re pretty gross.”
With the thought of traditional style dorm lavatories still fresh in my mind, I suppose there’s no better way to bring this first column to an end. Until next time, happy showers.
Rachel Alfiero is a first-year student majoring in communication studies. She can be reached at RA806657@wcupa.edu.

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