Coming to college is a terrifying and emotional rollercoaster for most; you probably have never left home for this long before and find yourself in a completely new environment with a bunch of new people that you’ve ultimately never seen before. But it can – and will also be – so
me of the best years of your life.
Being a senior, you never really look back on all the memories you make until it’s time to say goodbye. You’ve made countless memories and probably have a good amount of stories that are unexplainable.
UNH teaches us leadership skills as well as how to make friendships that will last forever. It gives us stories that we hope our parents never find out about as well as experiences that have shaped who we are today. Here are some of those stories.
Having only spent two years at UNH, Emily has made up for lost time. A New Hampshire resident, Emily spent her first two years at Great Bay Community College before transferring here junior year. Now a second semester senior, Emily will be graduating with a degree in English Teaching and nervously awaiting her intern teaching placement.
Many say that it’s not the amount of time you spend with people but the quality of time you have with them. Emily has found this to be true as she found some of her best friends her senior year of college.
It’s important to have people in your life that you can always count on, even if they convince you to do insane things while at DHOP late at night. We’ve all been there: you’ve had one too many at Scorps, and it’s time for a greasy slice of cheese pizza and to cause mayhem in DHOP scaring the sober employees behind the counter just trying to get through their shift.
Emily and her friends were having one of those nights when a man approached them offering to buy their pizza: “So yeah… we said yes… it’s free.” The mystery man quickly became an acquaintance, and just like that he had a name. James. James wasn’t just a kind man who offered to buy them pizza that night. He was also an Uber driver who happened to not be working that night. Nonetheless, he offered the girls a ride home. The two hopped in the car bumping to the music that James was playing before Emily got dropped off at Madbury Commons and left her friend in the car to get driven back to the Cottages. “That definitely wasn’t safe,” Emily said, “but I got a free ride and free pizza out of it.” I never want my parents to know I did that.
For many of us that attend UNH, we are used to the cold harsh New England winters. But for Kennedi, the winters took some major getting used to. Originally from Texas, Kennedi was scouted to play D1 volleyball at UNH. Making a transition as big as this one can be challenging but Kennedi had the support of their teammates to fall back on.
“Being on a team helped me make a lot of friends that I think I would never have been friends with,” she said.
Coming to college, you never know who you are going to meet. The friends you make here can be from all over the country. That was the harsh reality for Kennedi and her friends. The dreaded day of May 16 hits even harder for them as they each go their separate ways after graduation and won’t be able to wake up every day and walk three minutes to see one another. Nostalgia is at an all-time high for these second semester seniors as they think back to their freshman days going to Stillings and talking for hours completely losing track of the time.
Sunday morning rolls around, you drag yourself and your friends out of bed to go eat breakfast at your favorite dining hall. You and your girls are circled around a table sharing stories of what you got yourselves into the night before. The memories of the night may not be completely clear, but one thing is for sure: the morning after with your friends in the dining hall is something one should never have to go without.
Being a student at UNH is something we can all understand and appreciate, but being a D1 student-athlete is strictly reserved for the talented and hard working. Kennedi was able to experience both during her four years here and winning the volleyball conference championship her freshman year.
“I honestly will never forget that moment because it is something that I will never experience again,” she said.
“If someone could shout ‘break a leg’ right about now it would be greatly appreciated!” Matt, a second semester senior and theatre major, accomplished a lot during his four years here. He’s a member of Mask and Dagger, a student-run theatre organization on campus, and he recently directed a show last summer. Matt also found time to be a member of Alabaster Blue Acapella group and previously was a member of Sig Ep. “I got very good at using Google calendar,” Matt said jokingly.
Being so involved on campus allowed Matt to make a lot of friends from many different groups. Those friends he made freshman year are still people he has in his life today. These are the people you eat every meal with, go to class with and adventure with on the weekends. These people who can make the most out of simple activities; that’s when you know you have some good ones.
It’s spring semester sophomore year when the sun comes out all of a sudden and the temperature rises to 70 degrees. What do you do? You grab your buddies and head to college woods. The simple, peaceful, beautiful college woods was a regular hangout for Matt and his friends to play catch, hike and take pictures.
“It was simple and pretty basic, but it was really enjoyable out there to escape classes.”
For some of us, UNH may not have done a whole lot for us. Maybe the administration let us down and you questioned staying here for your whole college career. But then there were those days like the ones spent in college woods or the days you spent watching your friends get stoned from eating a chocolate weed cake or stealing a traffic cone while you were completely hammered one night out. It’s memories like these that will make Matt crack a smile in 10 years when someone asks him about the good old days—the college days.
Being president of a fraternity was never something Devin expected to be called when he looked ahead to his college future.
Devin Taves is now a senior here at UNH and the president of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. Looking back, Devin would have never imagined such an exciting future for himself at UNH.
“I transferred to UNH my sophomore year when I left Franklin Pierce University," he said. Devin knew Franklin Pierce wasn’t for him, so he made the decision to transfer his second semester sophomore year and never regretted it.
“Joining a fraternity gave me a chance to put myself out there and be able to meet many new people, something I was at a serious disadvantage of being not only a transfer student, but especially coming to UNH in the spring semester.”
Devin, like many other students coming to UNH for the first time, didn’t see himself in Greek life but wanted to meet new people and make more friends. He decided to rush feeling that he needed to find his squad. He ended up getting more friends, or “brothers,” than he expected. Seventy, to be exact.
“I pray that my parents never find out some of the crazy stuff that happened at Red Door junior year. That house holds so many crazy ATO memories that we all as a brotherhood will never forget.”
The memories that Devin has from his time spent here at UNH will be with him for the rest of his life, as well as the brotherhood he has created as president of ATO. Coming to college is a scary step in your life, and finding the right college can be hard. Devin, like so many others who transferred to UNH in hopes of finding that home away from home, found a second family.
When asked to describe the friends that he’s made here at UNH in 10 words or less, Devin looked up, smiled and said, “That’s easy… the family I always wanted, but in the end, learned were the people I truly needed in life to be happy.”
No matter where you come from, UNH gives you the family you never knew you needed and a whole lot of memories that you’ll never forget.
Granted, these past four years haven’t always been easy. There have been hardships, heartbreaks and pain some of us never thought would happen to us. But the beauty is that there is always a silver lining. When May 16 comes and the class of 2020 throws their caps into the air, there won’t be any lingering thoughts of which test you failed or which professor didn’t round your grade up. You’ll think of the amazing people that helped you get to where you are now. You’ll think of the people that love you for being unapologetically you.
It doesn't matter what year you came to school or what clubs you were in, this small town of Durham has given the class of 2020 memories that will last a lifetime.