Freshman at Auburn University
Erica Russi is a freshman from Austin, Texas who had grown up a University of Texas Longhorn fan. She decided spontaneously on going to Auburn, despite what the rest of her high school was doing and what her parents had thought. Her spontaneity has made her very happy about her decision, but has also presented her with challenging obstacles in her young life. She majors in Graphic Design and is already a member of a couple of organizations on campus. College life so far from home has been a great adventure for her and has opened her horizons to different opportunities.
1. Have you grown up in Austin, Texas with the mindset that you wanted to eventually become a student at Auburn University?
No, my mom went to UT (University of Texas) and so did my dad. My step dad was an Auburn fan because he went to college here. He kind of guided me along the path of going to Auburn pretty much my whole life and always encouraged me to look into Auburn as one of my choices. I was stubborn to the idea until my senior year when I realized UT would be way too hard to get into. I had visited my friend at Auburn and went on a college visit and really loved the place. Auburn was the only college I applied to.
2. Did you have any friends or close acquaintances that had made the decision to go to Auburn University as well?
Well, no one really looks at Auburn University in Austin. My close friend Christina, from my high school, went here and she was a year ahead of me and told me that she loved it. I really trust her and look up to her a lot; therefore I took her word for it.
There were only three of my friends that were looking into Auburn, and all three of them are here now. I didn’t really want them to go to Auburn with me because I wanted to get away from high school altogether, but I’ve ended up hanging out with them all the time.
3. What is the one of main reasons Auburn has started to become more like a home away from home?
To be honest, Auburn had not really felt like home last semester. I was really homesick and just wanted to transfer back to Texas. I had the mindset of thinking that I didn’t want to make any new friends at Auburn because I already had great friends back home in Texas. I realized, though, that I had forgotten the main reason why I had come to Auburn in the first place - to branch out and make a brand new life for myself. I have gotten over my homesickness, and have really opened up to my new friends here at Auburn. I really missed them over Christmas break and just wanted to be back in Auburn the whole time I was home!
4. Have there been any circumstances or situations you have had to deal with that have been hard living so far away?
I really missed my little brother. We are really close and it was hard living so far away from him. Even though he was only a phone call away, it still wasn’t the same. There were times when I just wanted him to be in Auburn with me just to cheer me up. I have gotten over the fact of missing my brother so much, mainly because we are both getting more mature to the point where being far away from each other in our lives it going to be a reality.
Another hard circumstance that I had to deal with living so far away is not being in Austin to comfort my dad and my step mom who had just gone through a miscarriage. They had found out in the end of the summer before my first year in college, and it was hard leaving so soon after that. I had to remember that they can deal with it together and it was not fair for me to carry that weight on my shoulders starting my very first year at Auburn.
5. Have you found a new group of friends or niche here at Auburn that has made it a more comfortable/familiar place to live?
Yes, I definitely have. I have become best friends with my roommate and have joined a sorority where I have met great friends instantly and have made me feel apart of a group. It was really comforting during my first couple of weeks at Auburn to have people to say hi to and who were familiar to me.
I also have found a niche in the art department at Auburn. I am a Graphic Design major and spend a lot of my time in the studio. I have classes with a lot of the same people and spending time with them working on projects and studying for tests have made me feel apart of something also.