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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Scranton chapter.

College. A new challenging experience that pushes people outside their comfort zones. I can now successfully say I have conquered it, or at least one semester of it. My first semester was packed full of crazy adventures, fun stories and amazing people that helped me along the way. But, I also have to acknowledge my college journey is far from being over. I have scratched just barely the surface of what it means to be a collegiate. Here’s everything important I learned from my very first semester of college. 


Time Management: 


By far the most challenging thing about my first semester was learning how to manage my time wisely. Although I knew going into college from friends, family and advisors, time management still knocked me for a loop. As an avid procrastinator, those of you like me will understand how challenging it is to learn what to do with the seemingly endless amount of time you now have on your hands. Compared to middle school or high school, college is much less class time a day, spread out throughout the week and a whole lot of free time to do nothing (or at least that’s what it seemed like). The most important thing I’ve parted with from my first semester is that all that “free time” isn’t time to nap, scroll on your phone, or just hang out (despite the fact that I did that often). All that extra time in between classes is the prime time to get whatever you need to do and be productive. Whether that’s homework, studying, or meetings, taking advantage of that time while you have it is a critical part to surviving college. 


Branching Out: 


As someone that went to a private all girls high school, college was a whole new ballpark for me. Of course, it’s a scary transition for anyone, but I was expecting to have an upper hand going in. Since I went to a brand-new high school with brand new people I had never met before, I was expecting it to be equally as easy to walk up to anyone and make friends in college. I was very wrong. In quickly learned that you can’t sit back and wait for everyone to come to you. Everyone is just as nervous and awkward as you are their first semester freshman year, even if they make it seem like they’re totally fine. Sure, for me personally, it wasn’t hard to walk up and introduce myself or even exchange snaps, but the game changed when I realized I don’t see these new friends five times a week in my classes for six hours a day. It was important for me to learn that I have to keep reaching out and push myself outside of my comfort zone more than I was initially expecting to.


Figuring Out Who I Am: 


As college presents you with many new opportunities, experiences and people, something I found myself focusing more on was trying to figure out who I am; or at least maintaining that person I’ve already discovered and was comfortable with. Being a nervous young adult that is just looking to fit in and make some friends, going into college with much more people and a bigger environment to navigate is a daunting experience. But an important thing my first semester helped me learn was that is important to hang onto who you are as a person, if you’re happy and comfortable with yourself. Much like any time in your life, it can be easy to let go of your morals and what makes you unique to just fit in and make some friends. It is so important to keep who you are at your core with you as you embark on a new journey and chapter in your life. Something I learned is true friends will like me for me, and I should never have to try to fit into standards or “social norms.” Period. Do what make you happy and comfortable, but still challenge yourself to make positive improvements and changes to your life. College is all about balance, and that is probably the best thing my first semester has taught me so far. 



Carly Long

Scranton '22

Carly is a senior studying Strategic Communications with a concentration in Legal Studies at The University of Scranton. This is her third year as CC at HC Scranton, which she hopes to continue to elevate. In her free time Carly can be found writing, working out, or buying new products to feed her skincare addiction.