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It feels like just yesterday I was a high schooler. March 13, 2020, was the last day I stepped foot in my high school. After that, I’ve pretty much been living in a virtual world. Now, my freshman year of college is already over!

Even though my first year of college was not the ideal experience, it definitely was a journey of growth and new experiences. Upon starting college, my first thoughts were that I wouldn’t make friends, I wouldn’t fit in, and that I wouldn’t get involved in anything. I still remember my first week of college. I was extremely nervous and confused with a lot of things. I was terrified to talk to anyone, especially professors. I was too scared to ask for help and I didn’t know how to step out of my comfort zone yet. I was also trying to learn more about myself, my strengths and my flaws, as well as trying to decide what it was that I wanted for my future. In many ways it seemed that I wasn’t ready for college yet.

I’m not sure exactly how it happened, but eventually reality hit me. I had an eye opener and I knew that I had to do something differently. I wanted change, but what I didn’t yet understand was that it would take time. Many times, I was frustrated or upset that things weren’t happening as quickly as I wanted, and I wondered if I would ever become the version of myself which I envisioned.

The school year has now come to end and I am proud to say that I’ve made it a long way. I’ve come to learn more about myself, finding a balance for everything in my life, and I’ve definitely become accustomed to what a college student’s life is like. As for my thoughts about “not fitting in,” Monmouth University has definitely made me feel at home. Little by little I started to step out of my comfort zone and I learned to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. I’ve come to make many amazing friends, and I learned that I wasn’t the only one feeling so confused and scared for college.

The transition to college is definitely a difficult step in a young adult’s life. Specifically, this year with remote learning and with everything being on Zoom, the shift has become extremely challenging. What many students have yet to realize is that they cannot go into college with the mindset of a high schooler. A lot of things have to change, but change takes time and it will not happen on its own. Patience and dedication are key when taking on this journey. If the girl I was in September saw the young woman I am today, she would say that it’s going to be impossible for her to ever get there.

One thing for sure is that anyone can change and become a better version of themselves, if the will to change is actually there. We simply have to accept our flaws and allow ourselves to open new doors and step foot in places we are not used to. It is a process for sure, but the end result is so worth it. Goodbye freshman year, thank you for the experiences, learning lessons, and tremendous growth. Sophomore year here I come!

 

Jacqueline Aquino is an Education and Mathematics major at Monmouth University. She loves to express her thoughts and feelings through her writing, so joining Her Campus was an amazing opportunity and she looks forward to writing many articles!
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