What I Have Learned in My First Semester of College

If you didn’t know, I am a first-semester freshman. Plus, I am also the first one in my immediate family to go away to college. So that being said, I had no clue what the hell I was getting myself into and learning the whole college experience was a brand new thing. With this article, I am here to help future students that want to know what it's like and some advice that I have received this semester. 

    The first advice I took and I’m glad I did: join clubs! Currently, I am in three different clubs, the Film Club, the schools’ news station WTOP, and HerCampus. Boy am I glad I joined those clubs! I have met so many people and made so many new friends. Plus, now I have learned how to do photography thanks to WTOP, challenged myself to make short films in 36 hours, and writing articles. I never thought I would do any of that stuff! If your college has a college fair, make every effort to go to it. You will see clubs you never expected and will make you aware of everything on campus! 

    The second thing I learned is not to procrastinate. Pretty much every upcoming student has the plan to not procrastinate, however, with classes flying by and trying to find time to hang out with friends, it’s one thing that comes up from behind. One thing I found out that helps me to prevent procrastination is having a planner or a whiteboard calendar in your room. The calendar will hang up in your dorm and remind you of your assignments, so there is no reason to procrastinate. A planner will help keep you in order, along with helping you know your schedule.

The third thing is that you have to be able to take criticism and have a backbone to you. If you are used to being told everything is great and you did nothing wrong, then all I have to say is, wake up! Professors will not hold back on their criticism, and sometimes they seem really mean about it. I had to learn this the hard way with a professor flat out saying my work was shit and how I should reconsider my major. At first, it hit me really hard, but if you are passionate about something, you will take their criticism and move on with your life. Just make sure not to do it again. It may hurt your feelings are first, but in the end, they are just trying to help you and they don’t purposely try to destroy your dreams.

Now there are more things I can say to give advice, but the one major thing I especially struggle with is showing emotion. I have always tried to stay strong and not be a cry baby, but sometimes you just need to let it out. Hell I go to the on-campus counseling center because I just get so stressed out, plus other things in my personal life go on, and I just need a place to let it out. You should not feel like you have to keep the stress in; everybody gets stressed at one point or another. 

Those are some tips that I have taken or lessons I learned from. However, I cannot stress the last one enough. Do not risk your mental health to show people you are strong, it’s okay to show your emotions. Talk to professionals if you have to, talk to your best friend, an adult. Just do not hold it in.