Since school is starting up for everyone, my friend gave me the idea to talk about my first year in college. I never thought about doing this, but now I hope this can be a helpful way for any freshman to know what they could be in for. Also, for any sophomores and up, I hope you read this and laugh and relate to what I'm about to tell. I'm going to split this up into two parts; this first one will be the social aspect of college and the next will be the educational part.
A little backstory before I delve into my college life. My time in high school was spent mostly with my small circle of friends. I didn't venture too far out of that group because of two reasons: shyness and no sense of belonging. I am a nerd, straight up 100% manga and comic book reading nerd. I'm proud to say that now, but back then I shared my hobbies with a small few. The majority of my high school population could care less about the new Naruto episode and the few that did, I was too afraid to approach them. All the worse possibilities came to my mind when I thought about talking to them. Everyone else talked and did things I had very little interest in it. I also did not act the way a lot of students said my race should act. Because of all those reasons, I craved a change in College.
When I first stepped on campus, backpack slung on my shoulder, keys still in hand, I couldn't help but smile. "I'm an adult now, huh?" I thought at the time. I didn't know a single person who went to this school and nobody knew me. When I realized that, I couldn't help but feel a sense of relief. All of my past experiences, embarrassing moments, regrets, all of that is gone now. Nobody knew of any of that. It felt like I could start all over by reinventing myself into someone I'm proud of being. That feeling, that want, is what pushed me into trying new things in college.
I started my new self-renovation by doing one simple thing first, act before thinking. Before, I would always think about all the horrible possibilities that could happen when I talk to someone. Now I try to act before those negative thoughts can get to me. During this has been a big help. I have inserted myself into so many conversations, either smoothly or roughly. I even started a conversation with someone under an umbrella on a rainy day just so I could get cover from the rain. Sometimes this strategy worked, and I would make friends as a result. Sometimes it got me a big heap of awkward silence followed by a shy scuttle away. I know this method worked for me because I know what kept me from being social. This could work for you if you're the same as me in that regard. If not, it’ll be best to understand what is keeping you from socializing more.
I also joined clubs, communities and did events while at college. I wanted to do these things because in high school I barely did anything. A change was needed, so I signed up for anything that piqued my interests, even if it was something I never did. For example, I went on a retreat that lasted a whole weekend. I had to give up my cellphone and camp out at a lodge in the woods with other freshmen. It's not something that I thought I would ever want to do. Being away from the internet for a whole weekend, sounds scary. But it turned out to be an incredibly fun and relaxing time for me. I would love to experience that trip again. My advice to all of you newcomers, just try everything. If you don't like it then quit, nothing is wrong with that. You're bound to find something that suits you.
Through interacting with a lot of people, I learned a lot about myself. My strengths shone out through the people I talk to. I've learned I can put a smile on someone's face, and not in the sadistic way that the Joker does it. I also learned that I'm very patient when it comes to people and events. Things rarely get under my skin, but I still had those breaking moments in College. My weakness was saying "no" to others. When people would ask something of me or say or do something that displeases me, I had a hard time saying "no" to any of that. That was mostly because I wanted people to like me and it irks me to write this because I thought I left that feeling behind in high school. I have become better at saying "no" now, but it's a learning process. If you have this kind of weakness, hopefully you'll have a better time with that than me. What I've learned through dealing with this is that if something hurts you, then please think about yourself. You can’t help anyone if you need help yourself.
Overall, I had an absolute blast in College. I’ve met so many people I thought I would never talk to, did things that I never thought I could do, and most importantly I learned more about myself. I can honestly say that I love myself now. That was something I couldn’t say before without feeling like I was a liar. College changed me and I hope it can continue to do that. Even though I love myself now, I feel that I can always improve. So, the best way I can sum up College for any freshmen is to get ready for change.