A Reflection of My First Semester in College

My first semester at college has been both everything I thought it would be and nothing like I expected.  It has been predictably shocking in the best way.

Move-in day itself brought so many surprises, like how comfortable my little twin bed was and how much my heart didn’t ache to go home.  While saying goodbye to my family was initially really sad, I quickly got distracted by all of the fun, new experiences and realized that I was going to be okay here.

My second day on campus I met a large group of people who became my best friends for the first few weeks.  We were inseparable and had so much fun together, I was shocked that I had found friends so quickly. Not too long after, though, I met people who are more like me and found myself in a new clique.  I still talk to my first group of pals on occasion and we didn’t have a terrible falling out or anything, but we surely aren’t the best of friends. Although I’m sure I’ll stay friends with my current group forever, I suspect that my friend groups will switch around several more times before graduation, and I’m ready to accept that.

Moreover, I’ve very quickly learned that making friends with upperclassmen is the emotional rollercoaster of the century.  I absolutely adore the older girls I have gotten close with, we have the best times together and they give the greatest advice.  Not to mention they are all so accomplished, involved, and inspirational. I’ve never been a part of a more supportive and loving group of people in my whole life, and every single day my heart breaks a little because they are graduating so soon.  It’s really tough when you find your people but only get to enjoy them for a semester or two.

Something I have really struggled with this semester was not feeling smart enough.  Up until this year, I was used to always feeling like one of the smartest people in the room, which I hated, but feeling like the dumbest wasn’t so nice either.  Thankfully, I was pretty quickly able to realize that the whole point of being here is to learn, not to know everything already; and I adjusted my attitude.  I decided to use my classmates’ knowledge to my benefit and it motivated me to become a better student.  But for a while, I was really discouraged and constantly comparing myself to others.

On another note, this semester was not nearly as overwhelming as I expected it to be.  I was able to adjust to this whole new lifestyle fairly easily, with the help of my friends and my randomly assigned roommate who turned out to be awesome.  Also, I found that I truly do have free time and that I like keeping it free. Sometimes it can be really hard to relax when you live in your workspace and someone is always five feet away from you, and I enjoy having time in the day to go to the gym or just rest between classes and work.  I also feel like I may have gotten lucky this semester because none of my classes gave very many assignments and I hadn’t been slammed with work until the final two weeks. I’ve had a lot of time - maybe even too much time - to mess around with my friends and just take everything this semester.  I have a feeling I might have to take things a little more seriously in the spring.

This semester has proven that I chose the right school for myself.  I have found my people, my passion, and my home away from home. I love everything on campus from the food to the beautiful lake and the gorgeous remodelled dorms and academic buildings.  I especially appreciate how so many people on campus are involved in majors similar to mine, and how seriously everyone takes English and its sister-subjects. Even in the short time I’ve been here I’ve been able to realize how supportive teachers and students in the department are and I know I will be able to achieve my goals in such a positive environment.

Overall, this semester absolutely flew by and it scares me because if college is anything like high school, every year is going to fly by faster than the last.  I am absolutely loving college and every academic and social experience it’s offered me so far. I’m ready for finals to be over but I’m not entirely sure I’m ready to go home for over a month quite yet.  I do miss my family and my dog dearly, though.