10 Things You'll Know After Your First Semester of College

10 Things You'll Know After Your First Semester of College

Who Knew You Could Learn So Much in 3 Months?
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Once Upon a Time in September, I was a naive little freshman wandering through the pearly gates of college in search of further education. From the good, the bad and the ugly, college is definitely something that takes some navigation, yet as the end of the semester quickly comes to a close and final exams loom closer (YIKES), it's easy to reflect back on the past three months and note everything that I've learned from August to November. From the good, the bad and the ugly, college is definitely something that takes some navigation, yet

1) College ISN'T Easy!

A lot of times we’re not necessarily prepared for the difficulties associated with college. By ‘difficulties’ I don’t necessarily mean coursework or tests and essays (although, let’s admit, those are pretty decent brainkillers) but also things you don’t expect: living with a roommate can be tough, making friends can be tough, classes can be tough and more importantly, having freedom can be tough.

2) Prioritizing is Key

The time between the beginning and the end of the semester is broken up by quizzes, tests, final exams, important essays and, hopefully, your social life. Basically: if you’re not on top of your homework, studying and outside reading, you’re probably going to screw yourself over.

3) How to Deal with Alcohol

Not that you should be drinking at all if you’re under 21, but, um...this is college and it’s an issue you need to deal with.

4) College Isn't Always Exciting

While you can definitely push yourself to be busy by joining organizations, clubs, or even going Greek, you should also be prepared for the repetitive daily routine you will grow to have. It’s somewhat of a let down, but college tends to revolve more around studying, Netflix and ramen over constant activity.

5) You Don’t HAVE to Go to Class (But You Really Should. . .)

You might be in love with your bed right now, but you won’t be loving it as much when you cry in your pillow about low grades and failed classes due to lack of attendance or low grades. Ergo, go to class!

6) How You Study Most Efficiently

Maybe it’s better for you to study your brains out in your room, or maybe it’s better for you to journey to the library for a few hours and isolate yourself until the job gets done. Either way: studying will become your life, make sure you know how to do it well.

7) The Types of Professors You Learn Best From

Professor’s all have their own method of teaching: some are very straightforward in their approach to lectures while others hate giving directions but force you to write a ten page paper without any instruction. When it comes time to choose your classes for the second semester, ratemyprofessor.com will probably be your favorite website so you end up with perfect classes.

8) Switch Professors When You Still Can

On my first day of Philosophy I knew I’d be miserable but told myself to be stubborn and persevere. Although I’ve managed to make my way through the class, it’s hard not to think about any number of interesting classes I could have taken to fill my time rather than staring at the clock and begging for it to move faster.

9) The Need for Command Hooks!

Nothing’s worse when you have something awesome to put up in your room or on your door than when you don’t have a command hook to do it with!

10) It’s Okay to Be Scared and Not Have Everything Figured Out

As a freshman, you may be expected to know your major and career path as soon as you start college. Some students might have a clear idea about what they want to study, but other students might need a little time and guidance to really figure out what they want to do in life. About 80% of college students end up changing their major at least once, so don’t worry if you’re not entirely sure what career path you’d like to pursue. You’re in good company!

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18 things all college kids think during their first week home of summer break

Because it's so nice to be home, I think?

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1. Ahhh, it's so nice to be home

Buckingham Palace ain't got nothing on this place

2. OMG my pups!! I missed you doggos so much

Just accept my love. Pls. Love me back, I've been gone for 8 months. I'm begging.

3. Wow this queen bed is so big

*cue sleeping in a starfish position*

4. Finally a bedroom to myself

Headphones? I don't know her.

5. But wait, it's kinda scary sleeping in a dark room alone again

"Hello? Are there any ghosts in here?"

6. Sooooooo, no more meal plan?

Are you sure the local Chick-Fil-A doesn't accept meal swipes?

7. Who am I supposed to annoy at 2am if my friends don't live down the hall anymore?

2:30 AM: "Mom? Dad? Wanna go get french fries with me? Maybe watch a movie?"

*Snoring*

"Okay maybe tomorrow...Sorry for bothering you. Okay good talk!"

8. "Mom you're going to do my laundry now, right?"

I mean it's kinda your job isn't it?

No? Okay yes ma'am I will do my own laundry no problemo, aye aye captain!

9. Me and my friends are going to spend every day together

*Me talking to myself through the camera on Snapchat*:

"So we're approaching day four with zero human interaction. Pretty good work, but we could do better!"

10. Yes, final grades are in! Can't wait to see what I got this semester!

*Slowly closes computer screen*

11. Do I really have to ask my parents to leave the house?

*Doesn't Ask*:

Mom: "HOW DARE YOU LEAVE THIS HOUSE WITHOUT OUR PERMISSION! YOU LIVE UNDER OUR ROOF AND WILL ABIDE BY OUR RULES."

*Asks*:

Mom: "Oh honey you're an adult now, you don't have to ask! Come and go as you please!"

12. Chores? Yea no thank you.

They've been doing them without me for months. They're all set.

13. Wait, so forreal though.. do restaurants in town take my meal plan?

Bank Account: $5.93

*Whispers to worker* "I won't tell if you don't. Just swipe my school ID, see if it works."

14. Will my Juul set off the fire alarm in my bedroom?

Probably.

*Rips Juul*

15. I kinda underestimated how weird it would be to hang out with people from my high school again.

"Oh no you haven't changed a bit Janice! Your baby is so cute lol."

*Awkwardly laughs*

16. Why do my old friends have new friends?

I don't like this, not one bit.

17. Can they tell that I'm not really listening to their stories about school?

"Yeah haha Delta Sigma Mu sounds sooooo dope Chad, that's ~wild~ that you had late nights three times a week lol!"

"Oh you snuck into the football stadium when the gates were unlocked?? That's crazy, you're crazy, school sounds... crazy!"

18. I'm bored. How long until I can go back to school?

Is it too late for a summer intersession?

Cover Image Credit:

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The Feelings That Are Real: Trying, Prospering, Succeeding

Share your smile with the world.
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Trying new things, prospering, and succeeding. Three things I am glad I endured in the past year.

These three things have taught me many lessons and helped me to achieve many things. The feelings from each individual endeavor I have taken in this past year has impacted me in many different ways. I never thought my work experience would have such a huge impact on my entire life.

I was always a fashion-lover who had many, many different clothes. I would rather buy clothes than books to read starting at age 8. When I was 16 I got my first job at Lucki Clover, the cutest, elegant boutique in Red Bank, New Jersey.

I was in love with the feeling of walking into "work" and being around an entire store of things I wanted to buy. It was the best day ever when I assisted a woman on her entire "night out" outfit, and she made the purchase. At this job, I really developed an even bigger love for fashion, and I decided that my goal was to include fashion within my future career.

When I would see the shipments of clothes coming in 24/7, I would get excited like a child on Christmas morning. I was in love with fashion.

I found something I was passionate about, and it was a good feeling.

Years passed and I decided to try something totally different. I decided to be a camp counselor. I babysat a couple times, but nothing crazy. I figured, why not try? For 8 weeks, I worked at Pine Grove Day Camp in Wall, New Jersey. I never thought these kids would make me smile so much. All day long, I was impacting these campers and they were impacting me without even knowing it.

I remember being told that on the last day, I may cry. I thought to myself, "They are little kids that I'll be working with for three months, why would I cry?" Well, I was so wrong.

When you hear your camper call you their best friend, you do not think much of it (quite frankly, I would just laugh). On that last day, you realize that you created a huge impact on their lives. Being a counselor does not mean hanging out with your 6th-grade campers on the weekend, it is about creating a camp friendship with them so they can be happy and learn new things.

Along with the campers, the counselors were learning new things and smiling every day. The smiles on these kids faces throughout the day were contagious. I could not help but smile and cry when I saw how upset my campers were to leave at the end of the summer.

I made an impact, it was a good feeling.

Following that, I applied for another retail job. However, instead of clothes, I was dealing with sunglasses. I got the job at Sunglass Hut in the Jersey Shore Premium Outlets in Tinton Falls, New Jersey. I figured I would try something different than before, but something that interested me.

In my first weeks working there, I learned so much knowledge about sunglasses and how their worth is so much more than we think. The materials used to craft some of the sunglasses are so valuable. Before this experience, I just thought of sunglasses as either metal or plastic.

When I made my first customer interaction, I was overwhelmed. I realized that if I did not create a customer relationship, I would most likely not sell a pair of sunglasses. Hours passed, and I made my sales goal for the day.

I achieved what I needed to, it was a good feeling.

With these three experiences, I learned that trying new things leads to prospering and succeeding. It is like a ripple effect. I truly believe I learned these things through my work experience.

Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Think about the last time you truly were proud of yourself. Did you try something new? Did you learn different things? Did you feel yourself smiling ear to ear?

My work experience allowed me to feel my mind and well-being prosper and succeed after trying all these things. You may not experience these things through your work experience, but they are necessary for growth and you will experience them in your own way.

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love." - Maya Angelou


Cover Image Credit: Woman and Sunlight

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