Friday, April 15, 2016

Things College Has Taught Me {Freshman Year}

My freshman year of college is coming to a close, and with it, so does a very full year of memories. I thought I knew what I was getting myself into... but I was so wrong. The truth is, unless you are in college, you can't understand what it's like, or what students are going through. It's an experience like none other, and I've learned so many lessons through it all. Here's a few things I learned this past school year:

It's okay to change your major. Before I was in college, I found it a little annoying when people changed their majors. I promised myself I wouldn't be that person, because I didn't want to waste any time in college, especially on classes I didn't need. By the end of the first semester, the major that I was initially so sure about, no longer felt right for me at all. Changing majors was the best choice for me. It's okay to change your major.. it's even okay to change it more than once! At the end of the day, you want to graduate with a major that you love, and one that you can get a great job with.

Don't expect to keep all of your high school friendships. I know, this seems like a horrible thought. Believe me, my friends and I graduated high school on the best of terms. We were filled with much nostalgia, and amazing memories. We promised to stay close, and at the time we sincerely meant it. The truth is though, when you are scattered at colleges across the country, it's hard to stay close. We tried our best, but it's hard when you're so busy trying to establish the next chapter in your life. I'm still in contact with many of my friends, and I miss them dearly. We still hang out when they come back in town, and I love every minute of it. It's a hard lesson to realize, but your friendships aren't going to be the same, because you don't see each other every day. You will always have the memories, and the laughter, and the love. If you're really lucky, then you may still hold onto a few friendships. Either way, don't put too much pressure on yourself. Sometimes the hardest lesson we can learn, is when we need to let go of the past.

That intense level of stress is here to stay, so get used to it. I may only be a freshman in college, and still naïve to some of the bigger things of this world, but at this point in my life, I truly believe there is nothing comparable to the stresses of college life. I constantly have a running list in my head (and on my phone) of all the assignments I have to complete. You're never truly "done with homework", you just have to decide how much you can handle for one day. The first time you forget about an assignment, you will be filled with the most intense anxiety. By the end of the semester though, you'll learn to just brush it off, because if you got stressed every time you forgot something, you'd have had ten heart attacks by now.

Sleep is now a luxury. Some days I'm so envious of my high school years, when I averaged eight hours of sleep a night. Now, it's usually around five, and I'm constantly tired. I have never in my life been a napper, but now that I'm in college, I've developed the strange talent of being able to sleep anywhere. I could care less if people are around, or if I'm in a less than comfy position. I'm tired, so I sleep.

You will get over the FOML, because you simply can't do it all. First semester of freshman year is so much fun, but also a little insane, because of the amount of social invitations you'll get. At first, I tried to do it all. It was a constant rotation of school, homework, work, social life. It's impossible to keep up with it all, and you'll reach a point where you just have to choose what's more important to you, and what you truly have time for.

The freshman 15 is very real. You'll start off with the best of intentions, but chances are that your diet will go to hell, and you'll feel entirely too busy to find time to workout. I mean honestly, in that rare free moment, do you really have enough energy to go on a run? Don't stress, you will get it all worked out, just give it a semester or two.

Your homework load will hit a whole new level in college. Studying no longer means laying on your bedroom floor, half-heartedly doing algebra homework, while watching the Bachelor and snapchatting your friend. (Well, to be honest, we all still do that) If you want to make good grades, you'll have to study your ass off in college. I've learned this the hard way, after blowing a few exams first semester. You'll figure out the time management, and which study methods work for you, and it will all be okay.

Now is the time to try new things. That's one of the best things about college. You've entered a new place, where nobody knows you. This is the time to step far outside your comfort zone. Over this past school year I tried rock-climbing, roller skating, and paintball. I watched several horror movies, went to a concert, and a political rally. I invited a bunch of the girls that I met first week to go to coffee or have lunch. Yes, it was a little awkward for me at first, since I'm so introverted, but I ended up making some incredible friendships out of it!

Finals week is hell. I wish I could break it to you gently, but there's just no way around it. If you're taking over 12 credit hours, and have normal classes, then finals week is going to make you want to run away and never come back. Stress levels are high and people hole up to study for days at a time. Don't expect to sleep much, and expect to drink a lot of coffee. This is the week where it's perfectly acceptable to wear pajama's to class, because I promise no one will be looking at you. Once it's over though, you will cry and dance and sleep for a whole day. It will be one of the most accomplished, proud moments of your life. (That is, until you get your final grades!)

The truth is, nothing compares to your freshman year. It's a mixture of every good and bad thing in life. You will love it and hate it, and all I can tell you is enjoy the ride!

Best of luck to all my little incoming freshman!

xoxo, em

1 comment:

  1. Ahhhh. I'm still in high school, and college sounds absolutely terrifying. I'll have to bookmark this post!!