5 Things I Learned in my First Semester of College

As this semester comes to a close, I want to take time to reflect on this significant period of time. This was my first semester of college, and it taught me more than I could have expected. When I look back at who I was at the beginning of the semester, I genuinely feel like I have changed so much as a person from then until now. This campus, and the people I have met, have taught me lessons that I could not have learned anywhere else.

 

  1. Not everyone will become your best friend. When I first moved into my residence hall, every person I met seemed like they could become my best friend. I found myself connecting with different people every day, and it felt like I had already had a large group of friends that I could count on for anything. As the semester continued and we all settled into our routines, I ended up becoming close with only a few of the 30 girls that lived in my hall. I began to understand that my priorities and values did not align with many people I met, and it took a while to find the few people I knew would always have my back.

  2. If an opportunity is offered to you, take it. Around my third or fourth week into the semester, I got an email telling me I was written in as a candidate for hall council senator. While I had no idea what hall council was, I decided to go for it. I decided to say yes to an opportunity that fell in my lap, and I am glad I did. Not only did I get to be apart of a good community of leaders who helped me develop my leadership skills, I met one of my best friends at CSU through the organization. You never know what could come of just saying yes.

  3. Fitting in feels fantastic, but it's not always the most important thing. My first week in college, before classes had even started, I almost got myself into a situation I really did not want to be in. I wanted to fit in with the new group of people I was making friends with. I came into college knowing I was not going to be apart of the drinking and partying scene, but I was going to let myself ignore that value in order to go to a party with a group of people that I didn't even know that well. I ended up not going, but I was so eager to fit in, that I was going to throw away a value that I knew was important to me. Fitting in feels fantastic, especially in your first week of college, but it is just not the most important thing.

  4. You don't have to drink, party, or do anything you don't want to do. When I got to college, I knew that I was not going to be drinking. For personal reasons, I have to avoid alcohol, which also often times means avoiding parties and going out on the weekends. I thought this was going to be a huge deal, but the friends I have made in college also hold this value, and a lot of the times we find things to do on the weekends that don't involve drinking or partying. If staying away from alcohol is a priority for you, there are most likely other people that also hold this value that could become your close friends.

  5. Life is hard. I thought the transition from high school to college was going to be easy for me because I am usually a flexible person. However, I encountered a lot of road bumps. There were times when I felt lonely, I had anxiety about a million things every day, and I struggled to find where I belong. I made a lot of mistakes, and I am still learning a lot every day. For most people, this is not an easy transition, and it's okay if life feels really hard for a while.

I hope that no matter how hard things are, how many mistakes you make, or how lonely you feel, you always have the strength to wake up and keep going. Nothing worth having comes easy. Stay strong sister.

Katrina