What I've Learned My First Semester of College

With finals week rapidly approaching and winter break seemingly right around the corner, I know that my first semester of college is about to end. I’ve taken my first college classes, joined some amazing clubs, and moved to a whole new city. For the first time in my life, I was (for the majority of the time) vastly independent and making decisions for myself. In the first 3 months of my college career, I’ve already made some mistakes and learned a lot about myself.

1. It's perfectly okay to feel alone.

When I came to college, I didn’t know a single person there. I also should point out that I’m very shy and not the most talkative and social in large group situations. So, needless to say, I was extremely overwhelmed and scared. There were many many nights, and still are today, where I would spend my Friday or Saturday night in my room, watching Netflix and eating pop corn. And while that may be fine for a few days or so, eventually you get tired of always being by myself. If I were back home, I would just text or call one of my friends to hang out and boom problem solved! But, I wasn’t home. I didn’t have very many friends and felt extremely isolated, I felt alone and so far away from home.

2. Put yourself out there.

Again, I’m very shy and not usually the first person to start a conversation. So, in order to push myself out of my comfort zone, I decided to join some clubs and even rush. And that was honestly one of the best decisions I’ve made in college. If I hadn’t decided to put myself out there and try things I’ve never done before, I probably would still be lonely and miserable. I’ve met some amazing people who have made my college experience a lot more enjoyable.

3. Don't forget to call mom.

It may seem like your mom, or even dad, is always calling and on your case. Now while it may be annoying to receive five phone calls a day from your mom, cherish it. This is the first time you’re living away from your home and parents, and it’s an adjustment for everyone. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the first kid to go to college or the fourth. Because there will be a time when your parents will call less and less, which can be great sometime, but it also means you’re growing up and they no longer need to check up on you all the time. So, before that time comes, just call your mother for once. Trust me, she will really appreciate it.

4. Keep in touch with your friends back home.

While you’re off at college, don’t forget about your other friends! These people were the ones who got you through high school, breakups, and life. You don’t have to talk to them or see them every single day, but just remember to send them a sweet text or snapchat every once in a while, to reach out and let them know that you still love and care about them. Plus, it’s good to check up and see how their life is going.

5. Take classes that interest you.

This doesn’t have to necessarily pertain to what your major is or what you think you want to do for the rest of your life. Take some fun classes, ones that you’ll probably never be able to take except in college. So, sign up for an astronomy or a women’s studies class. You may never have another opportunity to do it.