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What I’ve Learned Now That I’m Halfway Through College

Although my sophomore year isn’t entirely over yet, I’m mentally done with it, so I think that counts. Things are starting to wrap up, and we are finishing the constant stream of assignments that were thrown at us these past few weeks. Now that summer seems to be just around the corner, I have come to the realization that I am going to be a junior next year. How I am already halfway through my college career I will never understand. Fortunately, I still have two more years before I enter the land of adulthood. These past four semesters have taught me a lot, and I don’t just mean in my classes. There are a lot of lessons that I have  learned from my fellow Friars and even from myself. I will try to keep some of these things in mind as I go through my last two years of school and my life after. So, enjoy this list of things I have learned so far:


1. Get involved


There are so many different opportunities on campus that there is certainly something for anyone. If you can’t find anything that interests you, start something yourself. Whether it’s a club, a sport, or whatever, it is an easy way to do something you love. Plus, it helps you find other people with the same interests as you.


2. Take breaks


I really struggle with this sometimes, and I know a lot of people do too. When the work starts to pile up, we are so focused on getting it done and stressing about it that we forget to take breaks. We are not machines, and our brains need time to process things. If you feel overwhelmed, take a break and do something you enjoy! You can come back to the work later with a clearer mind.


3. Travel


After college, it is unlikely that people will be throwing great opportunities to go abroad at you like we have now. There are numerous amazing places we can go right now, and we should take advantage of that. This past year, Covid-19 has stopped a lot of travel. This just goes to show you never know what will happen in the world and you should travel when you can. If you’re like me and your majors prevent you from going abroad, do a Maymester, a Spring Break trip, or go somewhere amazing over the summer.


4. Always be open to new things


In college, you have the chance to experience so many new things, and you should be open to trying them. People come from different states and countries, all bringing their different life experiences. You can find that being open to new things will lead you to people and places you never expected to like.


5. Make as many friends as possible


In my first few days at PC, I found some pretty amazing people and thought I had found my group. Growing up in a small town, I expected different small groups of people to stick together, and that was it. While I love that initial friend group dearly, we met so many more amazing people, and our group continued to grow. There is no shortage of great people at Providence College, keep meeting new people. There is no such thing as too many friends.


6. Take care of yourself


I used to think self-care was for the weak or used as a distraction from doing work. I’ve since realized that self-care is necessary to stay healthy and sane at college. Those of us on campus, we literally live at school. From my dorm window, I can see all the academic buildings I have class in. It can be hard to separate yourself from the school aspect sometimes. Make sure you are taking care of yourself and not just focusing on all the tasks you need to complete.


7. Be present


This goes along with what I’ve been saying about not focusing solely on your homework. You have four years on this beautiful campus, so make them count! At the risk of sounding cheesy, there’s a reason they say these are the best years of your life. It’s our first experience of freedom and being away from home, and we all live with or next door to our best friends. Don’t take this time for granted because we’ll never get it back. Make the most of your time here.


8. Have fun!


We are at college, and fun is the name of the game. We don’t have the responsibilities of adulthood yet, so enjoy life with all the amazing people on this campus. We can become very stressed, so it is important to make time to have fun (safely, remember we’re in a pandemic). Smile as often as you can, it goes by fast.

Samantha Dietel

Providence '23

Samantha Dietel is a junior Psychology and Elementary/Special Ed double major and is senior editor for the Providence chapter of HC. She loves to stay involved on campus and is a choreographer for Dance Club, participates in Active Minds, Education Club, PAWS, PC Pals, volunteers with Inspiring Minds, and is a member of the Psi Chi honor society. As a local near Providence, she enjoys guiding her friends around the city and showing them what it has to offer. Samantha also enjoys reading, spending time with friends, and a good binge-watch.
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