Right now I am on my winter break from college. I am very thankful to be able to have almost a month off of school and to spend more time with my family. Breaks are also a good time to look back on the past semester and think about how far you’ve come! So as a way of celebrating and reflecting, here are the top 10 things I learned my first college semester.
- You are going to realize how much your parents did for you when you lived at home. Living on your own brings daily chores- including but not limited to- laundry, washing dishes, and dusting. You no longer have mom and dad around to remind you to take out the garbage or to wake you up if you oversleep your alarm. It for sure made me more appreciative of everything my parents did for me when I was at home.
- Free things are your best friend, take advantage of them! I can’t speak for all universities, but the U of M has so many free giveaways and events the first week of school for freshmen. GO TO THEM. Honestly, it’s pretty great. I have more lanyards than I can count and probably have picked up over 15 new t-shirts.
- Having such an open schedule can be difficult, you have to find your own groove. In high school I was a busy girl! I had school from 7:45 AM-2:30 PM five days a week and at least 2 hours of basketball or swim practice after, followed by a few hours of homework and sleep. In college your schedule will be nothing like that. You may only have one class on Monday but four classes Tuesday. At first I found that having all this free time was difficult because I didn’t know what to do with myself! I learned to have better time management and scheduling.
- Not everyone you meet welcome week will become your best friend. Starting at a new school can be hard, especially when it comes to making friends. Don’t worry if you meet so many people you can’t remember them all. Instead maybe focus on meeting a few people with whom you relate to well and then spend more time with them. The first week is crazy and everyone is just trying to find a “group” and fit in. Don’t worry though, eventually you will find your niche.
- Take your studies seriously, but don’t be afraid to let loose. Don’t forget the main reason why you are at school-to learn! But also don’t get too stressed out that you don’t enjoy yourself. The U of M offers so many cool events like concerts, dances and speakers. But if coordinated things aren’t your favorite, make sure you take the time to relax with friends. It doesn’t have to be anything big, sometimes I meet up with a group of girls to knit together. (You can call me a nerd I know!)
- Step out of your comfort zone. In high school I really stuck to what I knew and who I was friends with. I rarely socialized with others or tried things completely new to me. In college I have realized that the only way to grow as a person is to take more risks. Maybe strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know well who lives on your floor or take a class that is not in your major but sounds cool.
- Set goals for yourself. I always find myself getting lazy and unmotivated when I don’t challenge myself to do better. Tell yourself that you want to get an A on your paper, then you will be more apt to do it!
- Call your parents every now and then to give them updates. They miss you probably more than you know.
- Don’t let anyone get in the way of your dreams and passions. If you have an idea of who you want to be and what you want to do, then do it! No one should get in your way.
- Be yourself. Yup that same cliché they have told you since kindergarten- but it is so true! You will surround yourself with people who accept you and like you for who you are!
My first semester was great and I am looking forward to the next!
Worry less and smile more.