Here is My First-Year Review of The First Half of The Semester

I officially made it half-way through the semester as a first-year college student, and honestly, it has been a lot different from my initial thoughts as a senior in high school. Obviously, it has been different in the physical aspect because of COVID-19 but I am talking about differences in terms of expectations, workload, responsibilities, and time.

 

As a senior, in high school, I expected that college was going to be a lot like my AP classes, and I could have not been more wrong. When I was taking AP classes, my daily homework was something that I could complete with an hour or an hour and a half. But now the readings and homework that I get assigned are now taking me two hours! The readings are very hefty and technical, which was something that I had a hard time adjusting to. Now that I have become more acquainted with the readings, digesting the content has been a lot more manageable, but those first few weeks were so rough. I seriously hope teachers stop making a habit of referring to AP classes as something that’s similar to college because it truly does encapsulate the authenticity of a college class.

 

In terms of workload, I was already under the impression that college was going to give me at least 5 hours of homework every week. Once again this assumption was really off base. I remember when it was the first day of classes and my Africana Studies professor mentioned that undergrad courses, including this course, are supposed to give you nine hours of work every week. When I heard this my jaw literally dropped. I was definitely not expecting that, let alone for it to end up actually true. I can definitely say that the nine hours weekly load holds true. I noticed that one thing that I have always been great at is managing my time, and having that nine-hour a week workload has definitely reinforced this favorite skill of mine. I swear if I had not trained myself to manage my time back in high school, I would be procrastinating this article right now as you read this!

 

When it comes to responsibilities, I was expecting that I was really going to have to exercise my autonomy to the fullest extent, and to my surprise I was right! Autonomy is something that I really had to get used to, even when being online because it is ultimately up to you to still attend online classes, and make sure that you are asking for help when you need it. Ultimately, it is up to your own initiative for you to stay on top of assignments, reinforce your learning, and hold yourself accountable to expectations that professors hold to you as a student. The harsh reality is something that you really can’t escape. This is an impending aspect of being an adult, especially if you are online.

 

Lastly, when I was a senior in high school I really thought that college had the same duration of the semester as high school, meaning that the semester was going to begin at the start of early September to late December. However, to my surprise, college semesters only last 14 weeks! I never knew that it was this short, I was truly expecting the dragged out semester that I went through for 4 years, but instead, I got something better. I can definitely attest as a first-year that this semester has gone by really fast and it is so crazy to me that I have made it this far. To all my fellow first-years out there at Agnes Scott College, continue to push forward and I hope that the rest of this semester goes well for you!