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How My College Experiences Have Made Me Stronger

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Endicott chapter.

A lot can happen in a short period of time. People change, plans change, and things that were once a priority can not be as important anymore. If someone had told me how my first year of college was going to go down back in August, I wouldn’t have believed anything they said. I’ve learned a lot in these past six months, a lot more than I ever have in my nineteen years on this planet and all of these experiences have helped me to grow.

I went into freshman year as a biology major who had dreams of working in a lab and obtaining a PhD. I had this idea in my head that this was the path I was supposed to take and that I was somehow obligated to continue down this one road. My plan started to crumble as I quickly realized that I hated reading about cells, looking for tiny germs under a microscope, and answering questions that have too many possible answers. This threw me for a loop because I hadn’t thought about pursuing any other career. It caused me a lot of anxiety thinking about having to start over — it felt wrong, like I had already chosen what I wanted to do and it was too late to go back. Between how much I disliked my classes and the difficulty of balancing an endless amount of homework, I ended up falling behind in my classes. I had to drop a class in order to reduce my workload, while also trying to come up with an alternative major. Everyone kept telling me, “you don’t have to know what you want to do right now” and “it’s okay to be undecided.” I kept hearing different opinions from everyone in my life and I didn’t know what the right choice was.

I spent a considerable amount of time debating if I should take time off from school for a while and just try again when I could handle it better. I knew that I didn’t want to give up and that taking a break from school was not something I wanted. I came to college to figure out and pursue what I wanted to do as a career and taking time away from school was not going to help me towards my goals. My honest opinion is that when you try not to focus on what others are saying and ask yourself what you want and what you think is best for your future then you will be proud of the choice you made. By the end of my first semester, I decided that I wanted to be an Exercise Science major and it was a choice that I could be happy with because I made it all on my own.

After deciding to change my major, my second semester of freshman year was off to a good start. I was feeling good about moving out of my single room up to a double with one of my friends and I was enjoying my new classes. Then, February rolled around and things started to go downhill. My friend that I had moved in with began to distance themselves from me and our friendship was not as strong as it once was. I slowly began to notice that we were drifting apart and the more that I tried to fix things, the worse they would become. We had our disagreements, we had arguments, and we had some tough times, but I didn’t think that I was losing a friend. Navigating this situation has been difficult for me. It has been hard for me to figure out where me and this person stand. Yet, the truth is that sometimes you do not have to label the friendship. What I mean by that is we can still have friendly conversations and we can still text each other, just not as often, and that’s okay. Some people just drift apart but it doesn’t mean that you have to completely cut them out of your life. My biggest piece of advice would be to go in with the expectation that not everyone you meet at college is going to be in your life forever; some people are only a part of your life for a short time. That doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a meaningful relationship, it just means that these people have served their purpose in your life. You will come to learn what a true friend looks like and it takes a while to find your people.

This has been the craziest time in my life so far. I did not see my first year of college going the way it did. In the short time that I’ve been attending college, I’ve laughed, cried, gained friends, lost friends, stayed up past midnight, and drained most of my bank account. Save your money, trust me, you don’t need to buy clothes from every single store at the mall. I’m sure by the end of sophomore year, I’ll be writing an article very similar to this about something else that happened and I’ll have to revise my previous statement but that’s not the point. My point is that you learn more about people, life, and yourself the more chances you get to be independent. I am not going to sit here and say that I wouldn’t change anything about my first year of college, but these experiences have opened my eyes to a new way of thinking. I’ve come to realize that taking care of yourself is really important and neglecting to do so can have an effect on your physical and mental health. Life in college can become busy and it can be difficult to prioritize things like eating, sleeping, and breaks from studying. Overworking yourself is not going to do you any good because you become less productive as you get tired.

While all of this advice may sound cliché and you might be rolling your eyes thinking, “I know what I’m doing. I don’t need all this wisdom. I have enough wisdom already.” I was like that once. I wasn’t willing to except that there would be some sort of struggle that I would have to overcome when I entered college. While I do not urge you to think that your freshman year is going to be drama free, I encourage everyone to realize that it might not be easy but there will be good times. So, from one wise human being too another, I hope that you learned a little something from reading this. I hope anyone out there who’s dealing with something similar can read this and know that they are not alone.

Josie Sakey

Endicott '26

My name is Josie Sakey and I am a sophomore Exercise Science major at Endicott. My hobbies include coloring, doing crafts, watching tv, and listening to music. I love listening to Yungblud, Taylor Swift, and Niall Horan. I also have two dogs named Cam and Chewie.