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Things I Learned After My First Semester

After just one semester at Virginia Tech, there are many things that I have learned about the college experience and about myself. Going from living at home in high school to living in a dorm in college with a bunch of other people was definitely an adjustment. Even though I was well prepared for the change, I still had my fair share of homesickness and mental wellness issues. Going into the second semester, I now have a better idea of how to balance my life in college and what I need to do to feel fulfilled.

Join Clubs

The first thing that started to turn my experience around in college was when I joined the running club. At the beginning of the semester, I wasn’t sure if I wanted the commitment of everyday practice in the cold, but now that I’ve started, I’m so glad I did. Before joining the running club, I didn’t have any responsibilities after the school day was over, except for my homework, so I would waste my time napping. Not only did this affect my sleep schedule, but my mental health as well. I realized I needed more structure in my day and something to look forward to. For me, filling my time with clubs has helped me feel better in my daily life with the bonus of making friends.

Make plans of when to do homework and study

If there was one thing that I truly wasn’t prepared for, it was finals week. I never had finals in all of my classes in high school, so a week full of them in college was kind of hectic for me. I couldn’t comprehend how I was supposed to study for all of my exams while finishing final papers. After completely stressing myself out, I made a spreadsheet planning out exactly what I would do for the rest of the week, down to half an hour. Having a study plan really helped me stay on track and get all my work done. While I may have been academically prepared for college, my study habits needed to change, and I now know what works best for me.

Not everyone parties

One of the most important things I learned coming to college was that not everyone parties or has fun in the same way. At first, I thought it was so cool going to frat parties with my friends. However, with time, the excitement seemed to fade, and I wondered if I was the only one who felt that way. I thought this was the only way to have fun in college and wondered why it wasn’t as fun for me. My perspective started to change when my dorm hosted a game night for our community. I had so much more fun playing games with people I had never met than going to parties with my friends. It made me realize that there are plenty of other people who are like me and don’t feel the need to go out all the time.

Coming to college has been a time of change and experiencing new things; I’ve learned how to adjust to a lot. I know I will continue to evolve throughout my time here, I just need to keep an open mind and be willing to change my habits.

Gray Jones

Virginia Tech '25

Gray a freshman majoring in business information technology and minoring in professional and technical writing. In her free time, she loves to read romance novels, especially by Colleen Hoover.
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