A (School) Year in Review

It’s crazy to think that my first year of college is officially over! It feels like second semester went by so quickly, even if the weeks seemed to drag on. I find it so hard to believe that I only have three years of undergrad left (and a while before I return to school. Eventual goal: doctorate).

I met so many people from all walks of life, and I almost forgot what it was like to make new friends (haven’t done that in a while). That happened from the very beginning. I remember sitting in the kitchenette with the girls we shared a bathroom with, trying to work out shower details. That seems like so long ago, but it was really just last August.

Since then, some of those girls have become some of my closest friends and we’ve been on some crazy adventures since then, including stalled cars, bus rides, late nights, birthdays, Christmas, Honors formal, and everything else in between.

However, it hasn’t just been about the friends. Classes are important too. In these first two semesters, I have taken 36 credit hours and 13 classes. That is a lot. Because my major is so tight, I have to take 18 credit hours every semester pretty much until I graduate. That is the most a full-time student can take without having to pay more. That is a lot. I will not deny it or sugarcoat it. I did not always have a lot of homework. It just took so much time management. I know I have mentioned before about my weekly to-do list, and honestly that helped so much. I knew what I needed to do and it would make it easier to get things done.

In any spare time I had, I made time with my friends or joined extracurriculars. In fact, I even got elected to Vice President of History Club for next year, which is exciting! I also had a small job on campus as a notetaker to earn me a little bit of money. I have an even better job lined up on campus for next year, so yay more time management.

But seriously, college is a lot of work. It is a lot more responsibility and maturity than high school ever was. However, I would not trade it for anything. I love being busy and having so much to do.

I want to dedicate the rest of this post to things that I learned this school year, whether from class or not.

  • First of all, keep food in your dorm- If I’m up late working, I get hungry. Since the dining halls are all closed, I have to rely on myself for food.
  • You’re sharing a room- That’s something I had to remind myself of. There were times where I would get upset over something like the fact that my side of the room was clean and hers wasn’t. Or other times I would be in bed before she even got back into the room, and vice versa.
  • You do’t have to drink to have a good time- I know this is a stigma surrounding colleges. However, it is not true. It’s a conscious decision.
  • Take advantage of free things on campus!!!!!- games, movies, concerts, everything that a campus offers that is free. I saw so many movies this year that I would probably have never seen otherwise. I also attended football, basketball, and volleyball games.
  • Get off campus occasionally- Go out to dinner, go shopping, go see a movie. Do something different. Remind yourself of the real world.
  • Make time to work out- It sounds so easy in theory, but it is so much more difficult in practice. Especially second semester, I made time to work out and did my best to make it a priority. When I got my ear infection, I let my body rest; and since the week after was finals, I decided that exercising needed to be put aside. Let me tell you, my body suffered from it. So make time to work out!
  • Try new things- Whether it is food or an activity, college is about finding and solidifying yourself. Make the most of it. But at the same time…
  • Be true to yourself- You’ve spent the past years of your life building up your foundation. Don’t throw that away. Stand firm on your beliefs.
  • Be open-minded- People who are close-minded and assume they are always right are repulsive. I went to a study session for a final my first semester, and this one guy that was there kind of made a derogatory remark about all soccer players. I told him that I played soccer, and he basically said that there was no reason for his statement to change. He didn’t even know me! We had never spoken before then. It left a very bad impression on me. I try not to be close-minded, but it sticks when someone makes a close-minded comment like that. I don’t know this guy, but if that is his character, then I don’t want to know him.
  • Don’t sleep where you work- I don’t mean the dorm room in general. I mean your bed. I sat in bed one night to do homework, and I dozed off and did not do very much on the assignment.
  • Study!- I was always the person in high school who did not have to study in high school. However, I knew that would change once I got to college. So simply, take the time to study. You will do so much better.
  • Utilize campus resources- Libraries, testing labs, rec centers, etc. Use them, especially if they’re free!
  • Be alone- Not all the time. But take some time for yourself. Put on your headphones, watch some music, go to a private little corner, whatever it takes. Just remember that your mental health is important too.
  • Have a stress reliever in your room- I have a stress ball, and I actually bought Play-Doh. I use them all the time, whether I’m just fidgety or trying to concentrate.
  • All-nighters are NOT necessary- Seriously. I did not pull a single all-nighter the entire school year. Sleep is important! Finish your projects and papers beforehand so you don’t have to resort to the last minute.

My first year of college was pretty great, and I can’t wait to see where the next three years take me!

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