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Reflections On My First Year of College

In just two short weeks, my freshman year of college will officially be over. That’s a difficult concept to wrap my head around, because it feels like no time has passed at all. I can vividly remember move-in day, the overflowing of emotions I felt. On the one hand, sure, I was excited. But on the other, I was totally alone. I didn’t know a single person who attended this school, and I was stressed about finding a place to fit in. I also knew that I would miss my family and puppy, but I had no idea how much I’d miss them until that first night away. If you saw me walking around crying on campus during the month of August, don’t worry about it. I’m doing a lot better now than I was then. 

First semester was a steep learning curve. I hadn’t attended in-person school full time since my junior year of high school. On top of that, I was adjusting to living communally for the first time, and being alone without a support system in place yet. Somehow, I made it through, and by the time winter break came around I was feeling a lot better. Second semester has been a lot busier for me, but I also feel better overall. I have a great group of friends that I can rely on now, which was still only developing in the first semester. I get out of my dorm more, I spend a lot more time with friends, but I still try to find time for myself. 

The time between now and last August doesn’t seem long, but when I think about how much I’ve experienced, it really puts into perspective how much I’ve changed in not a lot of time. I’ve tried so many new things and experienced so much that I couldn’t have imagined before coming to college. If I had the ability to go back in time and talk to myself, I’d tell myself to just breathe. Things would be difficult and stressful, but I would get through it. I would make friends I’ll cherish. 

I can’t believe the time has flown by this much, especially since move-in day feels like it happened yesterday. When I look ahead to sophomore year, I’m definitely nervous. I’ll have more responsibilities than I did this year, and I’ll be expected to actually know what it is I’m doing. At the same time, I feel more prepared. I know I’ll have friends I love to come back to and faculty that really inspire me to get me through anything. So while I’m excited for summer break, I also know that I should be good to go next year. 

Charlotte Tolly

Bradley U '25

Charlotte is a first year user experience design major with a passion for art and writing. In her free time, you can find her baking, reading, or spending time with her friends.
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