What I Learned My First Semester of College

My first semester of college was filled with trying new things, meeting new people, and many, many mistakes. I made some bad habits that I vow to fix this semester, so for anyone who is starting college next fall, learn from my mistakes! Here are a list of things I learned from my first semester of college:


1. It’s Hard To Fix Your Sleep Schedule

There was a period of time where I would go to bed at 6:00 a.m., go to class, then come back and sleep until the afternoon. This made me unproductive, unmotivated, and sluggish all day. Make sure you’re going to bed at a decent time, and limit your naps. Now that I go to sleep before midnight, I feel way more energized throughout the day.


2. It’s Hard To Eat Healthy

Independence comes with a lot of responsibility. No one’s there to tell you to eat healthy or that ice cream isn’t dinner. Instead of going to dining halls, I would buy snacks and order fast food because it was faster and I didn’t have to leave my dorm. I wasn't getting any fruits or vegetables, so my energy was always low. This semester, my fridge is stocked with fruit and healthy snacks, and I’m going to the dining halls for every meal. I’m already feeling happier and more energetic, and that makes starting my day way easier.


3. Take Classes You Like

All my life, I wanted to be an English major. I didn’t like the classes that were required for that major, but I figured most kids didn’t and I just had to get through it. That’s not the case at all! If you don’t like the majority of the classes your major requires, you might want to switch majors. Now that I switched majors, every class that I’m taking this semester is one that I look forward to and enjoy.


4. It’s Okay To Change Your Mind

You’re going to join a lot of different clubs, and it’s okay if not all of them are for you. It’s not like high school where if you quit a club, the members don’t like you and you have to see them all the time. College kids are mature, and they realize that you’re still figuring out what you like and who you are. They understand that your interests change.


5. You’re Going To Have A Crisis

Every college student I’ve talked to has gone through a mid-semester crisis. I remember crying to my mom on the phone while hiding in the communal bathroom stall, telling her I don’t have friends and I want to transfer. Well it turns out, most kids feel that way. Give it time. I can tell you that a couple weeks after my meltdown, I felt completely different.


6. Keep In Touch With People

Again, college is not like high school. In high school, you talk to someone once and either become best friends or never speak again. In college, if you speak to someone once, you usually exchange socials and see each other whenever you want. Months can go by without talking, and texting them to grab a bite to eat isn’t weird. Everyone’s open to making new friends, so reach out to people!  


7. Get Out Of Your Room

My dorm room is one of my favorite places because I made it cozy and comfortable and it feels like home. However, that made me get too comfortable. I used to go to class and then spend the rest of the day in my room doing work or just watching Netflix. While it’s okay to have some alone time, you shouldn’t be spending every day in your dorm. Fill up your schedule with clubs and plans with friends to keep you out of your room. Once you’re out, you’ll enjoy yourself!


8. Don’t Be Scared To Try New Things

If you’re really interested in something, don’t be afraid to do it. I love musical theater, and I was planning to minor in it before school started. As school got closer and closer, I started freaking out thinking I wasn’t a good enough singer or actor to be in this minor, and I psyched myself out so much that I dropped the minor. During the semester, I felt that something was missing, and I realized it was the creative, artistic classes that would’ve come with the musical theater minor. This semester, I put myself out there and added the musical theater minor again. I’m now in an acting class, and I can tell it’s going to be one of my favorites.


9. Your Plans For The Future Will Change

All my life, I planned out my future. I would major in English, write a few novels, and maybe work at a publishing company. However, as I mentioned before, I quickly discovered that the English major wasn’t for me. I’m now majoring in Media and Screen Studies and am planning on being a screenwriter. I realize that that, too, can change, but I’m excited to see if this path is better for me or if I change my mind again. This is the whole point of college. You try something, and if you don’t love it, you try something else. You don’t have to have your whole future planned out, the point of college is building a future along the way.


10. Working Hard Pays Off

While studying isn’t everything, it’s definitely the majority of college. At the end of the day, you’re going to school to learn. Your social life is important, but your academia should be prioritized. School gets harder every semester, so don’t start off with bad grades. Let your freshman year be that cushion for your harder classes you have to take later in college. Don’t go out all night on weekdays if your work isn’t done. You need to be organized and have good time management because I promise you, it feels so rewarding when you get those good grades!