Every summer must come to an end. This year, however, was the start of a new chapter of my life: college. I was no longer returning to the familiar comfort of high school. Being the oldest, I had no one to turn to for advice on college life, so I packed up my mom’s car with too many clothes and drove to Misericordia not knowing what I was about to get myself into.
I had the luxury of moving in a week before the rest of the freshmen since I decided to continue my field hockey career and play at a collegiate level.
During my first week at Misericordia, my schedule was packed with sport-related activities. Triple practices every day for the first five days, eating with the team, and team activities really helped me adjust to the busy swing of college life. It seemed as if I’d never have a life outside of field hockey. Our team instantly became close due to how much time we spent together during practice and off the field. Knowing these girls had my back when things became too much helped me settle in and become comfortable in my new home.
Of course, preseason doesn’t last forever and eventually it was move-in day for the rest of the freshman class. The once empty halls of McHale were bursting with freshmen and parents alike, all trying to load their belongings into their dorms. It was total chaos on the once quiet fourth floor. After everyone had moved in and kind of settled down, there were four days of non-stop ice breakers and other activities that would help the incoming freshmen get to know each other, like learning how to salsa dance and a day of service.
On Saturday when the whole freshman class did their day of service, my team was at a scrimmage. All of the sports teams at Misericordia did their day of service on Sunday, splitting up into three groups to do service projects around campus. The field hockey team, along with the cheer squad, pulled weeds around campus. While it wasn’t ideal to be pulling weeds at eight in the morning with the sun blazing down, I found the experience enjoyable as it gave me an opportunity to talk more with my teammates off the playing field. I was more than happy to make the school look like a nicer place, considering I’m about to spend the next five years of my life here.
The first day of classes rolled around, and for once I didn’t have to get up at 7:00 for practice. The short break was a relief and allowed me to stay on top of my newly assigned classwork. I quickly picked up on the fact that every aspect of college is vastly different than high school. Not only was the time that I was in class doubled from high school, it was also the only class I had that day. The workload doesn’t seem like anything I can’t handle, but it is only the first week. All of the professors here seem nice and eager to help.
The most stressful part of my day is making it to practice on time and deciding what to have for lunch, but I’m sure I won’t be saying the same thing in the middle of October.
So far, my experience at Misericordia has been amazing. It’s been a smooth transition from sitting on my couch all day to going non-stop from nine in the morning to ten at night. Being able to keep myself busy by being a part of the field hockey team and joining different clubs has helped me prioritize my time so I’m not abandoning my studies. The people around here have been so friendly and open, I’ve never had so many people hold a door open for me. The campus itself is beautiful and buzzing with life. There is always something going on, so I know I’ll never get bored!
I have never been more excited to be a cougar. I cannot wait to see what the rest of the year will bring for me.
Rachel Miroslaw '21, Speech-Language Pathology. Rachel is from Tunkhannock, PA, plays field hockey, and enjoys reading and writing
For more information on Misericordia University's Speech-Language Pathology program, click here.