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Date: Aug 15, 2017

by Kara Eppel, Class of 2020, University of Maryland College Park and Baltimore County Office of Communications Intern

Lamp? Check. Pillow? Check. Blanket? Check.

It’s that time of year again, back to school. However, for many of you, you’re about to partake in a whole new experience, college! So, are you scared? Nervous? Excited? How about all three?

I'll let you in on a secret. You’re not the only one feeling this way.

How many times have you heard someone say “college was the best four years of my life” and that you “won’t want to leave”? Believe me, it’s true. College is the place where you will make new friends, grow academically, and definitely mature.

I remember my first day of college. I remember my dad dropping my clothes all over the parking lot, meeting my roommate for the first time (who ended up becoming my best friend), and wanting to cry when my parents left me in an unfamiliar environment with people I did not know.

I remember the first day of classes, leaving my dorm an hour early so I could find my classroom. (Now I only wake up ten minutes before class, rushing into the room practically still in my pajamas.) I remember my first big lecture hall, with over 400 kids sitting in the same room trying to learn from only one teacher.

It gets so much less intimidating. I promise. 

I remember meeting some amazing people, and how quickly they became my closest friends. I remember enjoying some fun night outs with my friends, but also staying in and watching a movie or eating all the sugar and carbs our hearts desired.

I remember the exhausting study nights. I remember studying with friends, asking thousands of questions, and learning from one another. I remember feeling unified with them, knowing we were all going through the same experience together.

I promise that you will make friends! Join a club, go Greek, hang out with your hall, or talk to the kids in your classes. Whichever way you want to socialize, remember that there are so many kids going through or who already have gone through the same experience. It’s not hard to find a group of friends in such a large student body.

The hardest part of college, in my opinion, is balance. How do I eat, sleep, study, socialize, clean, and wash my clothes all in one day? What about in one week? I won’t lie, it’s hard. Your parents are no longer there to baby you, and as mature as you think you are, college will definitely grow you up.

If you’re a studious bookworm, learn to live a little and have some fun! I know that you enrolled at college to further your education, but you are also there to make friends and enjoy the end of your childhood years. However, if you’re a party animal, remember not to waste your tuition money. You’re at college to learn and eventually earn your degree. Remember, balance.

Good luck with freshman year. I promise, these next four years will be ones that you will not forget. Enjoy it, because it goes by fast and in only four short years, it will be time to “adult.”

Congrats Class of 2021, and welcome to college!

Fifth anniversary of DACA prompts call to action

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz called on President Trump to continue the program that supports immigrants who came to the United States as children. The call to action comes on the fifth anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) implementation.  

“In Baltimore County, we are embracing the children who came here as youngsters, grew up as Americans, and are now contributing to the American dream. We urge the President to continue our country’s support of America’s Dreamers,” said Baltimore County Executive Kamenetz.

Kamenetz joined in a letter sent to the President by Cities for Action, a coalition of mayors and municipal elected officials fighting for federal immigration reform.   

Last April, Kamenetz signed an Executive Order on Law Enforcement Standards on Immigration Status, Diversity and Equity. Under the order, Baltimore County police officers will not unlawfully profile the immigration status of its residents, and the County Detention Center will not unlawfully hold any individual past their release date without a judicial order of detainer.

“We are standing up to those who seek to divide us,” Kamenetz said as stood at a recent Call for Unity Rally with immigration rights, community and religious leaders and Gold Star family member and social justice leader Khizr Khan.



Keywords: daca, immigration, kamenetz

Revised September 11, 2017