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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Arkansas chapter.

Saturday is here. Thus, the first week of my junior year in college has come to a close. Has this week been different from previous “first weeks”? Of course it has. But even though I have now gone through yet another one, it does not mean this week was any less important than “first weeks” past. No, instead this week was merely another necessary journey.

Let us start at the beginning. On my first week of Kindergarten, there were all the usual “First” customs adopted by our society. A hearty breakfast of cereal and orange juice, my mother taking pictures galore, and the need to tote my favorite toy in my backpack. There is now documentation on everything from my leaving the home my mother and father had built for us to my mother walking me down the hallway toward the room where my intellectual journey would begin. There is even a photo of me coloring with a new acquaintance that would later become a best friend for many years. Now the big question: why was this day so important? The answer is simple: It was a beginning. While I had been reading since I was three and had gone to preschool, this was the first time I would be receiving instruction in a formal classroom setting with my peers. It was a beginning. I would be exposed to new ideas that did not come form immediate family. This was the first day of what would turn out to be a very long career as a scholar. It was a beginning. 

Instead of recapping every single first day between Kindergarten and my junior year of high school, it is safe to assume the traditional First Day pictures were taken, the hearty breakfasts were eaten, and that I eventually grew out of wanting to take my favorite toy wherever I went. My first day of senior year was the first time no moments were captured on film. But never fret; my mother got her picture of my senior year Last Day. To make it even better, it is in front of the Senior Countdown poster. That has to count for something.

When that summer came to a close and the experience of moving into my new dorm room had come and gone, a new type of First Day was about to occur. For the first time, no pictures were taken, no breakfasts were eaten (hearty or not), and my favorite toy was in a drawer somewhere in my room back home. I spent the majority of the day going to classes and trying not to look as lost as I felt. To be honest, I probably took the longest route possible to every single class that entire first week. Learning the routine of not having a routine was what I spent a good amount of time on when I wasn’t learning just how much studying had to be done for each class. 

Time went on and before I knew it, it was time for my sophomore year of college to begin. Having a better grasp on the academic aspect of college life, I left earlier for class, had somewhat of an idea where I was going, and actually remembered to eat breakfast before I left my residence. Needless to say, I felt much more prepared for this experience than the last go-around. 

Now we have come full-circle and are once again to the first week as a junior in college. So really, how has this week been different from the others? For starters, I actually knew where all of my classes would be. This even included the one whose room changed four times between registration and August 24th. Not only had I bothered to look and see what buildings the classes were in, but I actually took the time to look at the room number as well. Believe it or not, this was truly a tremendous help. It also doesn’t hurt that I had come to learn where most, if not all, of the buildings were located on campus. Another difference was that I was in a residence location that could have allowed my mother to take her First Day picture. Thankfully that particular opportunity was passed up and forgotten about. The third difference is certainly the most important. Remember how I finally got my life together and figured out where my classes would be before I left? As a bonus, I had also managed to utilize my important lessons learned at college and map out the shortest route possible to each class. This included elevator locations.

This week may not have been the first day in Kindergarten or the first time in a new school building, but it was a beginning nonetheless. It was the beginning of a new year, a new (and final) major, and with that came new excitement. Each first day and week of a new school year is only the beginning of a new academic journey and I can’t wait to see where this one takes me.  

Madison Covington is a Northwest Arkansas native and a junior at the University of Arkansas. She is studying Communications with a minor in Political Science. She loves to read books (about EVERYTHING!), watch movies, and write about stuff! Her favorite animal is a penguin and has been since year four. She believes that no matter what your dream is, you should do whatever it takes to reach it and to not give up until you're there.  "You are far too smart to be the only thing standing in your way." - Jennifer J Freeman