How I've Changed From First Year To Fourth

Pulling up to Elgin Hall for my first year of university, my stomach was in knots. Sure, I had always been an independent person, but this was different. This was moving away from home.

In first year I was a bit of a mess. I’m sure we all went through a huge transition as we moved out on our own and experienced what it’s like to really run our own lives. Moving on and controlling your own life is difficult and can be stressful, but it gets easier as time goes on.

In first year your grades slip. You hear about how much harder university is over high school, but you don’t really understand it until you’re here. I know I fixated on my grades because they were well below what I was used to get. A lot of my time was spent over analyzing what I could have done better.

In first year there are events everywhere, for everything, and I didn’t want to miss out. But I was also terrified to go out. Being by myself or trying to make friends was overwhelming and I found myself missing events because I was too nervous to attend. In first year I spent a lot of time being scared.

In fourth year I’m less worried about my grades, I know what I’m doing is my best and that that’s enough. Although my grades have also improved I know that they don’t determine my worth.

Instead, I focus on experiences. As my time at university has gone on I’ve tried to be more involved in the things I’ve wanted to. I’ve made some amazing friends with similar interests to myself. Although in first year I was focused on making lots of friends I realized that the quality of friends you make is more important. Finding great people with similar interests is easier than I thought; I just had to look.

My friends are the reason my fourth year is so amazing. I’m not worried about going out to events because I have great people to spend time with. Instead of all the worry I had in first year, I’m comfortable.

It’s fourth year and my stomach is in knots because I have to decide what to do with the rest of my life. Maybe I haven’t changed as much as I thought.