A Reflection on My Freshman Year

    My finals are completed and I’ve turned in all of my final projects; I’ve survived my first year of college! Looking back, it’s wild to think about who I was at the beginning of last semester in comparison to who I am now. I honestly feel like I’ve been at the university for years but then I remember that I’ve only been here eight months. In that time I’ve definitely matured and have become more serious about what I want to pursue in my life. So here is a few things that I learned during my freshman year.

1. The friends that you make in college are the ones that really matter.

Now don’t take this as me telling you to forget your friends from back home! Do what you can to keep your old friendships going but don’t be afraid of new people entering your life. I have found such an amazing support system through my roommate, my fellow club members, and people that share classes with me. When I came to Laramie I literally knew nobody (as all of my friends decided to attend Nebraska schools) and being open to the variety of people that I met really helped me with my transition.

2. It is okay to change your plans along the way.

Coming to UW and the Visual Arts program, I was hell-bent on becoming a graphic designer. It seemed to be the logical choice that would provide job security and allow me study art. However, as the year progressed and I became much more immersed in the world of visual art, I began to question what I really wanted to do. I had to stop and ask myself: am I doing this for me or for someone else? After an enlightening discussion with one of my professors, I decided to shift my focus towards drawing and painting.

Picture by author.

3. Your professors are your best resource, don’t be intimidated by them!

Speaking of consulting professors, one thing that I got better about as the semester progressed was actually going to my professors when I needed help. I’ll admit, during my first semester, I was very intimidated by the idea of even asking a question. Now, however, I am much more confident about holding conversations with them and asking advice. Not only are they a good academic resource, but they usually have some interesting stories to tell!

4. It’s okay to embrace your independence.

Rather than going back to Nebraska for the summer, I am staying here in Laramie to work and fully embrace adulthood. When the idea first popped in my head I felt extremely guilty because I knew that my family wanted me back home after being gone for so long. But, after many long discussions and actually getting a job and an apartment, things are looking good. It will definitely be an interesting summer and I can’t wait to see what adventures are in store.