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What I’ve Learned To Appreciate In My First Semester at MSU

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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 MSU chapter.

Before coming to Michigan State University, I had so many expectations. Expectations of what my dorm would look like, who I would make friends with, the memories I would make, what I would and wouldn’t miss, etc. While I know all of these things now, I learned a lot more than I thought I would – not just academically. As my first semester at MSU comes to an end, I have been thinking a lot about what I appreciate, as I have experienced it all for the first time. 

As I moved to Michigan State, my family also moved to a new home 40 minutes from my hometown and the place I grew up. For a long time, I followed the narrative of wanting to get out of my hometown and never return. However, just five months after starting college, I miss it more than ever. I miss the familiarity of it, being able to find my way around with ease, and knowing that all the memories I made growing up were still right there with me. I often find myself making excuses to visit and be there just a little longer. Although I think I will always miss it, I have since come to find out that I will make so many more new memories in new places, wherever I go. I realized that before I know it, I will be missing this campus, and it is important to appreciate the place you are now instead of wishing you were somewhere else. 

When coming back home during breaks, since moving out of my hometown, it has become much harder to hang out some of my closest friends, most of whom I could see within minutes in the past. I often didn’t realize how easy and accessible these friendships were until they weren’t anymore. I have since considered the extra effort that is sometimes necessary in order to keep important people in your life, even if it’s a text a few times a week or making sacrifices to see them when you’re home. I have also learned to cherish the time I do spend with them that much more. While distance can break bonds, with attention and effort, they can also be built.

While I have always known myself to be an introvert, I never knew how much I valued and thrived on alone time. While others may consider being alone as being lonely, I see alone time as a space to truly be myself and recharge. With that in mind, it is often difficult to find those much needed moments of alone time on such a large college campus, surrounded by so many people. Although, I have come to realize that my alone time just looks a little different now. In addition to spending time relaxing in my room, alone time can also look like my peaceful walk to class while listening to music or a quiet solo study session. 

It is December now, and when I moved here in August, I had no idea that time would fly by this quickly. As I scroll through my camera roll and Snapchat memories of all the amazing experiences I’ve had so far, I can’t help but wonder where all the time went. While I am relieved to soon have a break from school and assignments, the wonders and worries of next semester creep up on me nonetheless. Worried about my major, my classes and the search for a job, I think back to a time when I had more time to figure it all out. I now understand that in order to slow down and hold on to the time I have, I must not think about the past or the future, but rather be in the present moment. If I am constantly going over things that happened in the past or that could happen in the future, I will miss out on what is happening right now.

As I begin to worry about new things, just as I did before stepping foot on campus, I also remind myself of the journey I have taken in the past five months. While I know I have only experienced a small percentage of the memories I will make throughout my time at Michigan State and these are just a fraction of the things I will learn from them, I think it’s important to reflect on everything I appreciate thus far.

Brooklynn is a freshman this year at Michigan State University, studying Journalism. Brooklynn grew up in West Bloomfield Michigan and graduated from West Bloomfield High School. Her favorite subjects included English, multi media arts and French. Brooklynn enjoys baking, shopping, watching movies, doing makeup, being in nature and especially writing. She is super excited to be a part of Her Campus and hopes to get creative and inspire others.