Anteater Community: My Home Away from Home
The summer before college, I was super excited to be leaving home to start a new chapter in my life. I knew I was going to miss my hometown and friends, but I was ready to experience that “college experience” everyone talks about. Little did I realize the degree of intimidation the transition to complete independence would be
It didn’t hit me that I was going to be living life on my own until my parents and I were saying our final goodbyes. I was still homesick even a few days after they left, and that’s when I realized I needed to take the initiative to find a club or organization that I could call my second family. During week 0 of fall quarter, I attended ASUCI’s Fall Involvement Fair in Aldrich Park. Amazed by the number of clubs and programs available on campus, I strolled through the fair excited to meet new groups of people. By the end, two groups really stood out to me: Delta Sigma Pi and the Antleader Mentorship Program (AMP)
Being a business economics major, I wanted to surround myself with a group of like-minded individuals who are all working towards growing personally and professionally. Delta Sigma Pi is a co-ed, professional business fraternity and also one of the first organizations I joined in my fall quarter. Within the fraternity, I was able to find people who I now call my closest friends. The people I’ve met have been there and supported me through my stressed out moments. They provide me with advice when I’m confused about topics in school, the professional world, and life in general. But most importantly, this organization gave me irreplaceable memories.
The Antleader Mentorship Program (AMP) is another program I owe some of my best experiences in my first year to. AMP is a program designed to help first generation, low socioeconomic status freshman students better transition into their life in college. Aside from being homesick, I would sometimes feel lost about what my goals for the future were. College became a daunting thing and the idea of having a mentor to rely on for the year was a relieving thought. After getting accepted into the program, I was pleasantly shocked by the community I had found myself in. Everyone, both mentees and mentors, are all so willing to get to know and help one another. Outside of the events that are hosted by the program, individuals take the initiative to reach out to others for a casual hangout. The experience I had in AMP was definitely one-of-a-kind, and I can definitely say that I found people I can count on for the years to come.
Although I am currently still exploring the campus for different organizations to check out, I can safely say that I have found my home away from home. In my short time at college, I have met multiple individuals who have significantly helped make my transition to college life easier. Finding comfort and support in a completely new environment is hard but the communities at UCI have made that process easier for me, and I couldn’t be more grateful.