Home Sic: Make college your second home

By Kassidy Tsikitas | Photo Editor

Stepping onto campus for the first time as a freshman wasn’t all I’d dreamed it to be: the weather was terrible and the people were strange. As I’m nearing the end of my junior year, I’ve had the opportunity to look back on my past experiences at Baylor. Different aspects of my Baylor journey such as living in a dorm, especially being one of the few people who didn’t rush (#collinscutie4life), not having a car, and the football culture has helped me to realize there’s plenty of things I wish I’d knew before diving into life as a Bear.

Coming to Baylor from a different state will cause major culture shock. Specifically for me, leaving New Jersey was rough, but it helped me to appreciate my home even more. From being 15 minutes away from New York City and my family who lived there, to being in what felt like the middle of nowhere was the worst part. For the entirety of my first year, I wanted to transfer because of this major change. It may seem negative of me to say this, but honestly, why would I stay in a place that was harming my mental health?

Evidently, as time went on, I stuck around and decided to change my mindset and lifestyle. At the start of spring of 2023, my life changed for the better. It seemed as if everyone God and the universe thought I didn’t need were removed from my life. Losing friends is one of the hardest parts of college, but it is bound to happen. You will learn that people change and so do you. I will always be thankful they were in my life, but I realize now it was for the best. I adjusted to these changes pretty quickly, while new people entered my environment. For instance, even if you don’t talk to your friends from class everyday after the semester is over, they will still help you grow as a person.

What I wish I knew about Baylor were the countless clubs and organizations you can join, which can also align with your major and personal interests. Recently, I joined Baylor Ambassadors and I was able to meet students who were very accepting and supportive. This organization also opened up many doors for what I can think about for my future career and education post graduation.

Another part of Baylor that may be hard to adjust to is the Christian culture. Obviously, Baylor is a baptist school within the Bible Belt and is also founded under the values of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. This is not to scare any incoming students who may be in the same boat as I was, but a reminder to be mindful that you may find yourself being judged by people if you are under certain denominations of Christianity or simply not even a Christian at all. Also, despite the overwhelmingly Baptist culture, Baylor does offer organizations for different religious groups to be a part of.

Branching off of religion, a certain aspect of a culture shock when coming to Baylor can be finding students with similar cultures as you. Baylor being a predominantly white school can be intimidating when trying to find organizations you want to be in. There are many multicultural organizations to join such as the Black Student Union, the Indian Subcontinent Student Association (or ISSA), the Hispanic Student Association, and more. There are also Greek life options to engage in, such as the Divine Nine and the Unified Greek Council.

So if you’re wondering how you can make Baylor your second home, explore your options. Keep an open mind starting at Baylor. Attend Late Night, reach out to people on social media (no, it’s not weird) and join Baylor Connect.

1500 miles away from home and three years in, I can finally say I’ve somewhat made Baylor a second home. It’s never too late to join an organization that best fits you. Remember to take a deep breath. You may not be able to see the future, but you can give it your all and go for it.