Unfamiliarity in the ‘Land of Oz’

It may not be as distant and magical as Frank L. Baum’s famed “The Wizard Of Oz” but starting out college in an unfamiliar town can be pretty daunting. As a recently graduated high school student, living on my own was something that I had never really been accustomed to. However, the surprisingly small, yet welcoming, town of Oswego has helped ease my transition.

Looking back on my first impressions of the school I saw two things; concrete buildings and a frozen snow bank, which is currently a lake. Even now as I become more assimilated with the culture here in Oswego, I still find myself feeling small and modest compare to the towering high-rise halls, and even Penfield Library, with its thick and looming concrete walls casting shadows over the adjacent quad.

Leaving campus may baffle some freshmen. However, living on a lake presents some natural advantages that are simply too beautiful to pass up. For one, walking three minutes past West Campus leads to Rudy’s Lakeside Drive In, where the views are hard to beat, especially during sunset. A humble 10 minutes down the road is Fort Ontario, a historic military base built upon the shores of Lake Ontario during the French and Indian War in the late 1700s. The fort is a perfect spot for any history buff, or anyone with a passion for dogs, as it is a popular dog walking spot among locals.

For those looking to get out of the 315, there are a myriad of clubs constantly visiting attractions both near and far. I had the pleasure of joining the Outdoors Club this past weekend on their annual inaugural trip to Cascade Mountain in the alluring Adirondacks. The club takes trips almost every weekend to enjoy the beautiful outdoors that New York has to provide. They’re just one of the many clubs that allows students to get off campus and not only meet new people, but engage in unique activities.

I decided to do an experiment to see how many steps I take in a day. On average I take around 23,220 steps, or 10 miles. This is because I live on West Campus while most of my friends have settled in on lakeside. Much to my advantage, the blue line runs frequently around campus and it’s pretty easy to figure out, even for a jaded Long Islander who wouldn’t stray too far from a car. Getting from campus all the way to Walmart is an adventure in itself. At a whopping 2.8 miles away, it can be a bit discouraging to have to navigate the bus schedule, only to realize you have three hours to kill at Walmart. While it may seem like a tedious task, I happened to meet a few people there that I can now call my close friends. With a little bit of patience and a good sense of humor, anything in this small town can become yours, as long as you set out to find it.

As a new student, there is nothing more valuable than being pushed just slightly out of your comfort zone. The clubs, amenities and community offered here at Oswego State have afforded many the ability to try a new enterprise.