New Year, New Semester

I just started my second semester of college on monday and though it would be great to use reflect on my first semester. Despite my desire to have a smooth transition from high school & living with my parents to college & being independent, my first semester of college was rough. But you live and you learn so here are 10 things I learned from my first semester in college.

1. Adjusting to a new environment takes time

After weeks of being in denial and telling myself I wasn't homesick and being miserable at school, I finally assessed my life situation and realized that I was missing many aspects of home life that hadn't transferred to college. Oddly enough I missed being in a house full of people and all the noise that came with it. My roommate was very quiet and kept to herself, which wasn't a problem. It was just that I yearned to be social in my living enviornment. Even when I would have an hour break in between classes my dorm was so quiet it drove me insane. Also after a while the dinning hall food tasted the same. It was the same menu on roatation, day after day, week after week. I then realized that being homesick didn't mean that you were depressed, antisocial and always complaining that you missed home. It meant that you just felt uncomfortable in a place that is new, which is totally normal!

2. Making friends is easy if you just talk to people

The week before moving into college I was overcome with anxiety. Anytime I was approahed with the question "Are you ready to leave yet?" I would physically become ill, I felt sweaty and nervous and had a strong urge to vomit. I was so nervous about moving so far away from home and from my friends. I got into my own head and scared myself. Once I stepped onto my college campus all my fears disappeared. I soon found that making friends wasn't as hard as I though, although it took time, it was simple. I made friends with my floormmates and talked to people in my classes and all I had to do was say hi! I am very much an introvert. I don't usually start a conversation but I figured why not it's college, what's the worst that could happen? One of my closest friends sat next to me in english class and I asked her to dinner after class and she said yes and we've been friends ever since! The saying "you never know until you try" is true.

3. Dinning hall food sucks 99% of the time 

After being at home for a month of come to realize that my acquired taste includes eating food that has been cooked with love and care. Not to say the chefs at school don't care about their job but - cooking for thousands of people can leave you feeling uninspired, especially when you are following a recpie or certain restrictions. BUT it isn't all that bad, the dinning hall suprises me every once-in-a-while.

4. Procrastination is REAL

Although it's only day two I've admitidly already fallen behind but not for long! I am keeping my head held high and actively using my planner. Honestly procrastination gets the best of us at times. It creeps up on you, telling you that you have enough time to do the assignment later, when in reality you only have 45 minutes until class starts! I would recommend having a system that works for you and that keeps you accountable.

5. Having fun does not always equate to getting drunk and partying

I am not a partier per se, it honestly is draining to get dressed go out. Some people love it other don't. And although the legal drinking age in the US is 21 underge drinking is a thing. BUT you don't have to take part in it to have fun! I've had my fair share of movie nights with friends watching Zootopia eating popcorn and enjoying eachothers company. I've also gone bowling and baked cookies. There are a pethora of options other than partying to occupy yout time.

6. Doing your homework and hour before class/time it's due, isn't the best idea

Remember that procrastination thing I was talking about? Not the best idea. Doing my homework and hour before class was HORRIBLE. I rushed my assignment which meant the quality of work was poor and I was getting myself into a panicky sweat trying to finish and submit the assignment on time.

7. Self-care is essential to being sane

Within the first few months college can be a very big shift change from highschool. Just the fact that you are in a new place, living on your own (maybe for the first time) can be overwhelming. Making friends, living on your own, homework, clubs, actual work (if you have a job) can all be pretty stressful and it's OK. The only thing that is important is that you manage your stress level and understand what's best for you. Sometimes it's good to take a break from schoolwork and just relax, it's also good to talk to someone you trust if you need it.

8. If you are a person of color going to college your campus will most likely NOT have many people of color

Unless you are attending a school that is an HBCU (Historically Black College/University) or known for having a very diverse student body there probably won't be many people who look like you walking around campus. This is purely factual and important to understand as you look for colleges or if you are currently at college. Not having people around you that you can connect with is very disheartening. There is something about having common ground with someone, someone who shares similar experiences or cultural understanding, that puts a person at ease

9. Textbooks are cheaper online vs the bookstore

I am a big contender of NOT buying your books at the bookstore for many reasons. Although the bookstore is convenient, you will save so much money ordering them online. I use to look for all my books. It's a great website that allows me to look at all my buying options across multiple websites to choose the best deal for me. Highly recommend.

Pro tip: Wait until the first week of classes to buy your books unless instructed otherwise, some professors will say that books on the syllabus aren't required.

10. Having a great group of people around me has proven to make college a 100% great experience

Any situation where you are in a new enviornment can always have a rocky start but you have to try to make the most of it. As of now I have met so many amazing people at college through friends, clubs and classes. Putting yourself out there and just saying "HI" can never hurt.

Hope you enjoyed reading my little bits about what I learned first semester of freshman year :)

Live ~Laugh~Love 

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