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I am sure by now you are tired of seeing a girl laughing at her textbook on the cover of every college brochure. When first applying to college, every single university made it look so easy. Like as soon as I entered the door I would have friends from all different backgrounds and that we would all be drinking organic coffee and becoming better people. And while yes, I have made lots of different friends from all kinds of backgrounds and we have sipped organic coffee and have become better people, it was not easy.

College is scary. Like really scary. You are dropped off at a new place, with new people, and are trying to work your butt off to make good grades. You have to balance being healthy, being academic, and being social and you are constantly juggling these three things all the time. What the brochure does not tell you, is that sometimes you mess up. Sometimes you really mess up. Some nights you have to pull an all-nighter and your sleep schedule is completely off for days. Sometimes you realize that you survived the day off the nutrition of snack food. College is crazy.

I remember my first few days, I felt particularly lonely at Furman. I did not have many friends, the academics were way harder than I expected, and it did not have a “home” feel. I was being a bit overdramatic and googled “Can you transfer out of college, the first week of college?” I was so scared that I did not even try to give Furman a chance. After sulking around, I realized I was in control of my narrative. If I was going to make friends, they were not just going to pop up in my room while I was watching Netflix. I had to make the move.

I started applying for anything and everything that I thought would be interesting. Greek life, music groups, student activity boards, orientation staff, I even looked into the culinary club. While some of these groups have some sort of application process and you will experience rejection. In order for there to be “yes’s,’ there is bound to be some “no’s”. You have to take these with a grain of salt, if you actually try and put effort into applying to these groups, you are bound to find one that loves you.Once you are a part of these groups whether it be the Residential Life Council, the Student Diversity Council, or even Club Table Tennis you start to feel at “home.”

My student groups are what keep me going at Furman. Life stuff pops up all the time. Whether it be a family tragedy, the unexpected flu, or a bad break up you are going to feel some sort of struggle in your college career. When these negative situations present themselves before you, it is much easier to deal with them with the help of a group. Your friends which soon become your second family at Furman really are the Furman Advantage with thriving at Furman.