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First Semester of Freshman Year Done!

It’s insane to think that we’ve already completed half of a year of college. It seems like we were just walking across the stage getting our high school diploma. All of my college firsts feel like they just happened yesterday – meeting our roommates, attending welcome week events, starting classes, and sitting in the havocs section at a basketball game for the first time. The first day of classes was last week and we were all scared to have to meet new people and new classmates but also so excited for this next new chapter in our lives. We struggled through midterms and finals and finally got to go home to spend Christmas and the New Year with our families.

If you are anything like me, you met amazing people – God loving, strong people, and it was so hard to leave them for basically a month. However, you needed the trip home; a trip just to get a break from school and being an adult. It was great for a  week, but if you are anything like me, I’m sure you wanted to come back to GCU to see the amazing people you made relationships with here, waiting to get back to your “freedom.” While at home, I was thinking about everything that I learned while being at school,\ away from my family, my childhood friends, and my entire life as I knew it. 

The first thing that I learned right away was that life is very expensive. By that I mean that not having a job in college can kind of be stressful when all your friends want to go out and try everything in Phoenix because it is all so new. I have learned the hard way that I can’t say yes to every outing that my friends go to. Especially if you live in apartment, buying food is expensive and buying it on campus can make your dining dollars disappear faster than you hoped for. 

The second thing is that the gathering is like nothing else I’ve every experienced. Hearing thousands of voices singing to praise God is so unbelievably amazing. GCU makes it a point to try and make to put God in everything that is offered at the school without shoving it down your throat, but making it known that God is the focus of this school and there are many ways to take advantage of it. 

I learned to not wait until Sunday to do homework. If you are like me, I’m sure you thought you could get everything done the day its due, especially if you’re a science major. It can be hard to try to do homework when everyone wants to go out but try to remember the reason you are in college is to get a higher education not to just hangout 24/7

Third, do not forget to call family and friends back home. I know it can be hard, especially since your just started your life on your own without your family being there all the time. It can be hard to remember sometimes when you have all these new friends and relationships that you want to focus on, but never forget all the people that helped you get there. Make a surprise visit home to just say hey for a few days and catch up with them.  

Fourth, go on a road trip at least once a semester, if you can. If it is just a campfire up in Flagstaff or all the way to California, it is important to get out of a schedule and actually enjoy being a young adult. It is not that expensive when you split the cost with a group of people and the memories you make are ones you will never forget.  


yellow Volkswagen van on road
Dino Reichmuth / Unsplash

Fifth, Midnight Madness is absolutely crazy but so much fun. If you not super into sports it is still so much fun getting to camp out with friends. Waiting in line, running to Walmart trying to get a tent, blankets, and food, 3 hours before signing up, is all part of the experience. Midnight Madness lasts all of 30 minutes which is insane since you just camped out for 4 days and pay thousands of dollars to live on campus to just sleep in a tent, but it is worth every second of it. 

Sixth, join a club sports team if you love that sport but don’t want to play for the school. You can still play and compete. It can be costly, but if it is a sport you are passionate about then you should join a club team. If that’s too much, then do an intramural team which still has games but isn’t as competitive. 

Seventh, have a photo shoot. Now this can be in thousands of places in Arizona or even in just a target. It is absolutely fun, kind of embarrassing when you run into a worker, but its still worth being crazy and getting those Instagram worthy pictures.

Lastly, try not to stay at the Grove every night till 5am on a weekday when you should be at home sleeping in your very expensive dorm room instead. It can be a great way to meet tons of people but also a great way to lose sleep and catch a cold. Either way, it is still something you should do every now and then to get out and meet more freshman that are going through the same thing you are going through too.

Brenna is originally from southern California right smack in the middle of LA and San Diego. She is a biology major with a minor in psychology. She is a freshman and is super excited to see what God has in plan for her for the future. One of her biggest goals for the future is to try everything that she is scared of at least once.
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