Final Fall Thoughts: Freshman Edition

It’s December. It’s hard to believe I began college a little over four months ago. Four months is a not a lengthy stretch of time in the least, but the time has felt as though it flew by — yet also dragged on. As a freshman, this semester was one of plenty of firsts and new experiences. Of course, there have been ups and downs — that is a given. But the ups have been worthwhile. For me, the simple moments are the ones I remember and appreciate the most.

There was one night I went to a coffee house to watch Halloweentown with some friends. Imagine decadent pastries paired with steaming mugs of coffee while watching a favorite Halloween movie. Perfection is what I would call it. Taking a trip to a pumpkin patch, watching a new movie at the theatre, and just trying out a new restaurant is what fills my days with memorable moments. There tends to be this pressure to enjoy yourself while at college, and oftentimes there is a predetermined idea of what that enjoyment should consist of. Make your own happiness and you will find your experience to be truly memorable.

The end to the semester has reminded me to look back on the past few months and appreciate the little things. It has also reminded me that my experiences can help others as they enter college or start thinking about becoming a college student. I started thinking about the graduating class back home and how they will soon know where they will be attending college. It is a scary yet exhilarating time and sharing a few things from my experience might ease the process (and future transition). Here it goes!

Adjusting

Moving away from home for any period of time is daunting and incredibly scary, but time definitely helps. I’m not going to lie and say I immediately felt at home and was laughing with friends the first day of classes. It is difficult to sleep in a foreign bed with unfamiliar surroundings. It is difficult to wake up and not say good morning to your family. The hardest part of transitioning to this new period of my life was not being able to hug my loved ones and sit on the couch each night to talk about our days. I still miss those simple moments at home, but I have grown fond of my routine. I definitely adjusted easily to having a max of two hours of class a day. I can focus on things I love to do with my newfound freedom (but I may have also taken too many naps throughout the semester).

Don’t be afraid to do your own thing

It’s not like the movies. In some ways it is but don’t expect everyone to have the same experiences. Maybe your experience will be like the movies, but mine was definitely not. In the movies, you see an endless stream of partying and nights that end at 4 am. I don’t know about you but I turn into a pumpkin by 11 pm. The point is that you shouldn’t measure your experience to someone else’s. Do you what makes you happy, not what fulfills a cliché. I found great comfort in my daily strolls to and from class, making a steaming mug of coffee between classes, working on my articles, and spending time with friends. Being a part of organizations like Her Campus UFL satisfied my social cravings and became the best part of my week. Being able to join an organization that affords you the tools to do what you love while being part of an amazing group of talented individuals is the highlight of my experience. (#HCforever!)

As I think of those first few awkward weeks where I stumbled through a foreign campus and tried to appear nonchalant as I internally panicked that I was at the wrong building or classroom,  I realize that there is so much more to experience as I go through my college years. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I am grateful for pushing myself to attend meetings for clubs I am interested in and just allowing myself to enjoy the little things. One more semester to go as a freshman — let’s see how spring goes! See you next semester!