I started my freshman year at UD about a month ago and it has definitely been a rollercoaster of emotions since. However, there are a few things that I wish I had known before coming here.
1. Making friends is hard! I came from a pretty big high school but I was very involved. I’ve known most of my friends at home for years and my friendships never felt forced. To be honest, I don’t quite have a friend group at UD yet and I feel like I’ve been putting a lot of effort into trying to connect with new people. Sure, I have a few friends here and there and I usually have someone to grab dinner with at CR Dining Hall, but it still feels pretty weird. Luckily there are a lot of opportunities to join clubs and groups here and there are always new people to meet.
2. There is a lot less freedom in college than there is at home. I miss having my car and being able to drive a ridiculous distance just to eat or to take cute pictures. Although UD’s campus is vast and Main Street has a lot of options, it all gets very repetitive. Did I mention that you’re also always surrounded by people? That definitely takes away some freedom.
3. Living with somebody else is challenging. I knew this before coming to school, but everyone’s experience is different so there’s really no anticipating what the future has to hold. Luckily, my roommate and I are good friends, but not everyone has a positive experience. This is normal and totally a living-learning process.
4. Figuring things out on your own is certainly an experience. In high school, teachers and guidance counselors are constantly pointing students in the right direction and encouraging them to get involved. In college, you’re basically on your own. Social media and word-of-mouth is very helpful, but you’re going to have to do a lot more self-motivating. I’ve been working on this, but my comfy bed and Netflix account are posing as minor setbacks.
5. Professors are not out to get you. I always thought of college lecture halls as being intimidating. In reality, they’re just big. Office hours are super helpful because they allow you to actually talk to your professor and get clarification on topics. I was surprised on how willing my professors were to assist me and how they even made an effort to try to get to know me as a person.