Living life Carnegie style: From recluse to socialite

I never thought I would ever see so many drunken people in my life as I have this semester. Last year, I was the typical reserved freshman who just wanted to do well in her studies and focus on making it through stress free. I did just that, of course, and I came out feeling rather victorious with my good grades. Yet that reclusive approach to my first year was my downfall, and nothing could have prepared me for sophomore year at Carnegie.

As I reflect on the end of this semester, and the entire year of 2013, there are a few important things I have learned: you can spot a freshman a mile away, Carnegie is the best place to live, and last but not least, college will change you whether you like it or not.

Now I know that, as a sophomore, I really only have a year and a half of college under my belt, but I feel strongly, just as any senior would, that picking out freshmen from a crowd is the easiest feat possible. I don’t mean this as an insult, by any means, but I just find it hilariously amusing that most of the freshmen come in with the same attitude:

They walk in with a lot of swagger and a lot of energy yet they have absolutely no idea how to channel it, so they end up throwing around old high school jokes that died out long ago for the upperclassmen. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing this and I can’t help but think, was I like this? The answer is a painful, reluctant “probably.”

I kid not, one day I stood in line at Isaac’s Café, and this guy in front of me had the cockiest attitude as he made sure everyone knew of his presence. He was greeting all of the employees like they were his best friends while he sort of danced in place with that amusing smirk. I took a glance at his ID card, and, sure enough, 1995. Freshman. Priceless.

Carnegie Hall still stands, chipped paint and all. The walls have held decades of secrets, first time experiences and student maturation. Photo Courtesy of Sammantha Salinas
Carnegie Hall still stands, chipped paint and all. The walls have held decades of secrets, first time experiences and student maturation.
Photo Courtesy of Sammantha Salinas

And along with being a creepy freshman spectator (not really, but kind of), I survived my first semester of my second year at Carnegie. And I have to say, it’s been the best experience. Come to Carnegie, do it. I have met, hands down, some of the best people (even if they do sometimes break the rules). Carnegie will make you social. I have been pulled into many different parties and activities that I’ve actually shed my reclusive shell.

I know that others will contest this, and I may be just a wee bit biased, but I speak the truth when I say that this transition has been the best change for me. It has also changed me in general, which is what college will do to you against your better judgment. And, for better or for worse, these changes will get you in touch with another side of yourself that isn’t half bad.

Unlike freshman year, I don’t feel pressured to go out and make friends or socialize. Now it naturally happens, and I find myself on my feet and with friends more often than I ever thought I would. I have Carnegie to thank for that (and some sweet suitemates).

So, wherever you live, let the change happen. You might go in kicking and screaming like I did, but in the end the change will help you find your true self. Cheesy, but not wrong. And if that was not the ending you were looking for, here are my real last words: I got 99 problems, but life ain’t one.

One thought on “Living life Carnegie style: From recluse to socialite

  • December 11, 2013 at 8:58 am

    I lived in Carnegie Hall for four years (1956-60) and it was nice to see the photo of Carnegie as it is now. Thanks for a thoughtful article. I only hope that the many drunken people you saw were off campus and not Maryville students.


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