As my first year at college draws to a close, I learned. I knew that going into college would require an open mind and the willingness to learn new things and have new experiences. I’ve discovered multiple things about college in my first year that are going to make the next three years so much easier for myself, and hopefully these next few things will help anybody else who is entering college as well.
The 10 Things I Have Learned In my First Year at College
- Your roommate does not have to be your best friend. My first roommate and I got along, but she was not ready to live away from home so she lived off-campus down the road with her aunt and left me alone for three weeks. When I told her I would be switching rooms, she began to act cold to me and started to not like me at all. My second roommate and I get along great and I consider her one of my really good friends, but not my best friend. I am not living with her again next year because I decided to move in with two of my best friends on campus. With that being said, I discovered that you do not have to be best friends with your roommate just because you are living together. It is good to have a relationship with them because you do have to live together, so you might as well get along.
- Naps. All of the naps. I never thought I would need to take naps, but having my first 8:30 in the morning class after staying up until 11:30 or so the night before I discovered that naps are a wonderful thing. The best part about naps is that everybody takes them in college. Tired? Nap. Got up early? Nap. You would assume that since college students are supposed to be adults that naps wouldn’t be a common sight, but they are. I take a nap after my 8:30 class twice a week because I have free time until 2:30. I nap until about 11:30 and then I get up and eat and do last minute homework.
- Involvement is key to making friendships. My involvement at college has been a roller coaster. For the first couple of months until about November I was involved. I hung out with my friends everyday and we all ate together faithfully everyday and it was a good time. Then that all stopped and we all sort of divided in half; half of the group went in one direction and the other half in another, and then there was me. I was completely put off to the side it felt, so from about November – March I moped around in my room a lot with my boyfriend and cried because I felt like I wasn’t wanted. Then i decided that I didn’t need to sit around in my room and mope because they didn’t want me around – I made new friends and now I am happy as ever. I’m part of a club now and my two new roommates for next year have tons of friends that are also my friends now too. I am now about a thousand times happier because I decided to change my involvement with friends for the better.
- Not having a car on campus is a struggle. At my school, freshman are not allowed to have cars on campus. There is absolutely no public transportation in the area and I do not know any upperclassmen well enough to ask them to drive me to the mall every time I need to pick up some food. We have a shuttle that operates on weekends that takes you to and from the mall, but you then have to haul your bags all the way up three massive hills back to my building. You don’t realize how nice you have it when you have a car available to you at all times. If you live way to far away from your school to not have a car, I feel bad for you. Lucky for me I get to have mine next year and believe me, it will be here.
- Don’t pack your entire wardrobe. I foolishly packed probably about 75% of my clothing when I came here. I moved in at the end of August and wasn’t planning on going home for some time, so I had no choice but to pack summer clothes and fall clothes because of the changing of the season. But stupidily I had also packed winter clothes to wear just incase it got way to cold early. Now it is April and I currently only have one pair of shorts for me to wear when it gets to hot. Don’t pack as much as I did. Only pack the clothes that you know you are going to wear a lot and not get sick of. I packed everything because I didn’t know if I would maybe need it or not. I also packed several pairs of shoes, which are a good thing because you never know what type of shoe you need for a certain weather. Or that could be me just saying that because I love shoes.
- Procrastination is literally impossible. Unless you want to die of stress, don’t do it. I am a professional procrastinator and I hate that I am. There are times when I get so much work or I get a really long assignment and think “I have time to do this” and its the night before its due and i literally just haven’t started it yet. For example: on the night of housing selection I wanted to go to sleep afterwards, but no, I had to stay up until 12:00 AM to finish a 100-question take home exam. Balance your time and stay organized with your work. If you do a little bit of a big assignment each day you will feel so much better.
- You’ll never get a quiet nights sleep. Forget having a quiet nights sleep, folks. There are always going to be people up until 3:00 AM in the hallways and on the weekends there are going to be drunk people up until 4:00 AM. During finals week it is okay because everybody is trying to cram for their big test, but on the weekends of big events such as dances and what not, getting a quiet nights sleep is literally impossible. I suggest earplugs if you are sound sensitive in your sleep like I am, they muffle out a lot of the noise and make it easier to fall asleep.
- Expect to stay up later than ever studying and working. I am usually a person that goes to bed between 9:30 and 10:30, but now I usually don’t get to sleep around 11:30 because I have to stay up doing work and studying when I get slammed with homework. Even if you don’t have any work, you still might be up late because your roommate is still awake and you feel bad asking them to turn their light off or whatever. Late nights are a common thing at college, and now when I get home I can’t fall asleep at a normal hour unless I had a crazy day.
- You’ll miss your school friends so much when you go home for breaks. Seriously, I can not say how true this is. I go home now and I miss my college friends like crazy. Even though I hang out with my high school friends a lot when I go home, its not the same as hanging out with my college friends that I’ve been living with and seeing every day. It especially sucks when I go home because of how my boyfriend lives two hours away from me. I miss everybody so much when I go home that it makes me so much more happy to see them when I return!
- You’ll make friendships that will last forever. Seriously, this is the most important thing that I have learned. At college you meet so many new people that have so many different personalities and interests that you’re bound to find a life long friend. I’ve made friends that I know I will always stay in contact with and friends that I will probably have involved in my wedding in the future and will never leave me life because I don’t want the to leave my life.
I have learned so much more than 10 things, but those are the biggest 10 that I have learned in the past couple of months. I’m excited to see what next year has in store for me as well as the few remaining weeks I have left of this year. Cheers!