I put this post off for a few days because truthfully, I have no idea where to start or what to say. Tuesday, April 30th, was the last day of my freshman year of college. Let me repeat that. I am officially done with my freshman year of college. I don’t know what to say. I always get emotional when things come to an end.
I’m sure many of the high school readers of my blog are itching to know just what college is like and what it is all about. I’m going to start you off with these simple words: college is a different experience for each and every person.
I could sit here and sugarcoat my college adventure and tell you that it was a breeze for me, but I’d be lying straight through my teeth.
My first semester of college I went to the University of Dayton. I’m not going to go into detail, but I absolutely hated it. The school simply wasn’t for me. On top of that, I was having an extremely difficult time adjusting to college life. I felt like everyone around me was already settled in and having a complete blast, and then there was me who cried into my pillow every night wishing to be understood.
Adjusting was hard. It took me my almost my entire freshman year of college to finally accept this new lifestyle. I do get extreme waves of homesickness that crash over me every so often, but I had to learn to find ways to get myself out of that slump. I listen to music I enjoy, I talk to my boyfriend who has the greatest way of making me laugh until I snort, I write, I go to the gym, I call my mom. There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling homesick. I call my mom almost every day in college, while some people call their parents once every few weeks or few months. Everyone is different.
I transferred to Ohio State for my second semester. My freshman year of college was a roller coaster. Not only was I trying to get adjusted to college in general, but also to a brand new school which happens to be the complete opposite of the Univ. of Dayton in every aspect. Classes are much more difficult, the school is ten times larger, and “independence” is a necessity. Thankfully, I absolutely adore Ohio State which was a huge relief for me. I was so worried that I’d never find a college to call my “home away from home.”
Looking back on my freshman year, there are a million things I would have done differently. There aren’t necessarily regrets per say but I know for a fact that I will change them during my sophomore year. I will not let myself repeat the same “mistakes.”
Now this isn’t to say that my first year of college was horrible because it wasn’t! Yes, it was a struggle for me, but I most definitely had a great time! New experiences can be both terrifying and beautiful. 🙂 I did so many exciting activities, met really awesome people, learned new things about myself, found a new love for photography, performed in talent shows, and countless other things! I just want to try new things to make my sophomore year even more enjoyable for me.
1. I will make friends. My freshman year of college was so….lonely. I have an extremely hard time with making friends mainly due to shyness. Next year, I will put myself out there. I will make the initiative to hang out with others. I will go on coffee dates and get people’s phone numbers for reasons other than homework questions. I’m purposely rooming with five random girls next year to push me out of my comfort zone. I just hope they are really awesome girls! I want to make lifelong friends!
2. I will get involved more. I did join a few clubs at Dayton which made me a lot happier, but at Ohio State, I only joined one club. One club is better than no clubs, but because I came in halfway through the year, it was difficult to find clubs that I could join. Thankfully every year in the fall there is an involvement fair where every single club sets up a booth to try and recruit members, so there will be many opportunities to snag flyers and get information there. I especially want to join some service clubs because not only do they look great on resumes, but nothing is better than helping out a fellow neighbor.
3. I will study more. Heck, I studied a ton. I did. However, I know that I could do a lot better. Ohio State classes are much more difficult that Dayton classes, so this is where I slipped up a bit. It was much easier for me to pull A’s at Dayton than at OSU, so I underestimated how much I actually needed to study.
4. I will relax and I will have fun. College is not only about gaining “job skills.” I believe it’s also about personal and intellectual growth. I want these years to truly be the best four years of my life. I will take advantage of every opportunity. I will cherish the memories. Heck, I will do the oh so famous Mirror Lake jump and scream at the top of my lungs at every football game!
If you’re going into college next school year or even in a few years, if I have to pick one piece of advice to share with you, it would be this: Everyone moves at a different pace and adjusts to things differently. It’s okay to be scared and uncomfortable, but don’t let those temporary feelings stop you from stepping out of your comfort zone and from trying new things. (Also, completely scratch society’s view of what college should be like. The movies are a false depiction. I personally kept comparing my experience to how “it should be” and it only made me feel inadequate and upset.)
It will get better. I promise.
The sun sets only to rise again and gives us a brand new day to do whatever we want and be whoever we want. Every day is an opportunity to start fresh and make a change.
If you read this all, thank you. I know I always write too much and an essay isn’t necessary, but I truly believe I do not have an off switch. Hehe. 🙂
If anyone has an questions at all from study tips to the freshman fifteen to dorm life, feel free to leave a comment or email me (link in the sidebar). I don’t bite, I promise. 🙂