Freshman Problems: First Semester Myths Debunked

With first semester coming to a close, I’ve recently reflected on how much has happened and changed since I first arrived on Wake Forest’s campus on August 21st. I remember the nervous anticipation of meeting my roommate and hall mates, and the dread of walking into each of my new classes surrounded by a sea of unfamiliar faces. Now, I can confidently say I’ve learned to manage my way around here while comfortably settling into my new college routine. I have made a wonderful group of friends and broadened my horizons academically. However, three months ago, I would have never imagined myself to be where I am today.

I anticipated first semester with several preconceptions based on what some upperclassmen and family members told me to expect. While everyone says freshman year was the “best year of their life,” not every moment of first semester has been fun and perfect. Reflecting on these past three months, I’ve realized the truths behind some of the myths of first semester.

Myth: College is one big party.

Truth: College is wonderful and full of endless opportunities to go out, but the fact is: college is hard. No matter what classes you take or major you’re striving towards, every student faces adversity. Especially for freshmen, having unlimited amounts of freedom can actually be difficult to adjust to. Studying in a new environment can be hard, and college requires a different mindset, study approach, and improved self-discipline, especially with the increased distractions.

Myth: You’ll meet your lifelong best friends within the first couple months.

Truth: Meeting new people and creating lasting friendships is challenging. In fact, the first month of college was one of the hardest times I’ve had here at Wake Forest. I came into Wake barely knowing anyone, which was especially difficult coming from a high school where I had been with the same people in my grade for 12 plus years. Making friends is exciting and enjoyable, but it can also be exhausting and stressful. There is no timeline for when you’ll meet your best friends, because lasting friendships often form unexpectedly and naturally.

Myth: Your roommate will be your best friend.

Truth: You don’t have to be friends with your roommate, and most people aren’t super close with their roommates. Personally, my roommate and I are complete opposites and live very separate lives. In fact, we’re from opposite sides of the world. Going into freshman year, I wanted a roommate I could share everything with and hang out with frequently. Yet, first semester has taught me that sometimes it’s actually better not to have a roommate who you are best friends with. Living with a best friend can end up being more stressful than having a roommate you’re not as close with because living in such close quarters with someone will inevitably lead to conflict. After several months of adjustment, I’ve learned to accept the fact that my roommate and I are different, and I now appreciate that we can still coexist peacefully.

Overall, first semester is an incredibly unique time that helps shape and prepare each college student for the years to come. The best advice I would give is to approach college and these upcoming semesters with limited expectations, and to accept all the experiences college has to offer, whether they are fun or challenging.

Stay tuned for what happens during Spring Semester! 


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