Chleborad: Living and Learning #1

Will Chleborad, a senior in industrial design, writes about overcommitment and priorities. 

Courtesy of Will Chleborad

Will Chleborad, a senior in industrial design, writes about overcommitment and priorities. 

Will Chleborad

When I graduated high school and began at Iowa State, it was the first glimpse that I had self-reliance and independence from home.

I remember moving in with my parents to my first dorm at Geoffroy Hall. After my parents left from helping me unpack all my belongings and gave me hugs and kisses goodbye, I sat down on my futon.

I stared at the wall for maybe 15 minutes. All my life, I had some sort of schedule or routine to follow over the course of my upbringing. Not until that moment had I felt I didn’t know what to do.

I had no idea how to plan out a day on my own or what I could even do during the day to fill in a schedule. I knew that my classes weren’t starting for a few more days. What in the world was I going to do until then?

Part of me said to myself that I needed to get out of the room and meet people, that that would make me feel the most secure and social. However, another part of me was afraid. Afraid I didn’t have close friends or family to guide me through my newest adventure.

I overcame this experience by taking that first step and walking over to the lounge area. I found that most of the people hanging out there were just as afraid and in need of something to do. Seeing and hearing that other people were also adjusting, just like me, gave me the courage to be vulnerable to strike up conversations and hang out with people I would never have approached beforehand.

As the first few weeks of school at Iowa State went by, I began to act more like myself and slowly progressed into becoming more independent and confident in my social and academic abilities.

For all incoming freshmen, coming to college may very well be your life’s largest culture and development shift. Don’t miss out on finding your place in the community by being afraid to flourish. Every other freshman is in the same boat as you, and you have teachers, RA’s and other students willing to help you succeed.