3 Things My First Semester Of College Taught Me

3 Things My First Semester Of College Taught Me

"I went to college because I didn’t have anywhere else to go and it was a fabulous hang. And while I was there I was exposed to this world that I didn’t know was possible." -Tom Hanks

College is no cake walk. You're on your own for maybe the first time in your life. Here are a few key things that my first semester at Purdue taught me..

1. The Freshman 15 is not a myth.

Food courts can make you go nuts. There's mac n cheese, build your own pizza, an ice cream bar, and a giant stack of plates to help you eat it all. May I also mention Mom is not around to cut you off? Desserts for dinner? Why not? I personally love any of the "Make-your-own" stations. It so easy to eat all the sugars and carbs, but then it sucks because a few months later you realize you've been putting off the gym, but not the cookies and you no longer fit into your favorite pair of jeans. Indulge every now and then, but be mindful to eat your fruits and veggies.

2. Be social.

It is so easy to lock yourself in your dorm and binge watch Netflix for the whole weekend, but please don't. You will have your whole life to sit at a desk all day. Don't take these four years for granted. You'll have to step out of your comfort zone, but it'll broaden your horizon on all the opportunities out there. It's college, something will always be going on. Join a club that seems interesting, try out intramural sports, maybe rush Greek life. Whatever sparks your interest go for it. If it turns out not to be something you enjoy, no biggie. There's always others. The main goal is to go out and make friends and de-stress. As much as I really didn't want to I decided to try going out to a tailgate. I went in knowing maybe one or two people and then left with three new friends. The more I went out the closer I became with strangers that I now call my close friends. Just be sure to not let your social life rule over your academic life. Which brings me to my next point.

3. Don't forget to study, study, study.

It's just you when you head off to college. You are solely in charge of yourself. It is up to you beat those due dates, get to classes on time, etc. This affected me especially when it came to classes. It took me the first few exams to learn a thing or two on what college academics are really about. Studying should not be taken lightly. Not everyone studies the same so you have to learn what methods work for you whether it be flashcards or writing open ended questions. Whatever works best for you. The beginning of my semester I used my breaks between classes to nap, but by November I was reading my Planetary Science book and writing definitions down and then napping for maybe 30 minutes. Hanging out with friends turned into intense study dates as the months went on. Grades did matter in high school, but now they really matter because on top of a diploma you are also trying to get a job and hopefully a career.

You don't study to merely pass a test you study to really know the material and to understand it so one day you can put that information to good use. The most important note is to know is that sometimes you will get bad grades regardless of how much effort you put in. A percentage number does not define your entire intellect. Don't strive for that A for the sole purpose of passing the class, strive to understand the material for yourself so you know you can apply it.

On top of those three points there are many more minor lessons to add on. I've only been in college for five months and I can say it has changed who I am. You quickly began to discover and learn new aspects of yourself that you hadn't noticed before. You make new friends, try crazy things, and learn life is more than textbooks and schedules. Whether you laugh or cry, you love every second of it and won't change it for the world.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Popular Right Now

22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

A bucket list for my 22nd year.


"I don't know about you but I'm feelin' 22," I have waited 6 long years to sing that and actually be 22! Now 22 doesn't seem like a big deal to people because you can't do anything that you couldn't do before and you're still super young. But I'm determined to make my 22nd year a year filled with new adventures and new experiences. So here's to 22.

1. Go sky diving.

What's crazier than jumping out of a plane? (Although I'll probably try indoor skydiving first.)

2. Go cliff jumping/diving.

I must be the only Rhode Islander who hasn't gone to Jamestown and jumped off a cliff.

3. Ride in a hot air balloon.

Up, up and away.

4. Try out skiing.

Cash me in the next Olympics, how bout dat.

5. Try out snow boarding.

Shawn White, I'm coming for you.

6. Go bungee jumping.

Because at least this time I'll be attached to something.

7. Go to Portugal.

I mean I'm Portuguese so I have to go at some point, right?

8. Go to Cape Verde.

Once again, I'm Cape Verdean so I have to go.

9. Vist one of the seven wonders of the world.

I mean hey, Egypt's on, my bucket list.

10. Try out surfing.

It's only natural that somebody from the Ocean State knows how to surf.

11. Learn a new langauge.

Because my little bit of Portuguese, Spanish and Latin isn't cutting it anymore.

12. Travel to a state that I've never been to before.

Fun fact: I've only been to 17 of the 50 states.

13. Go paddle boarding.

Pretty boring but I've never done it.

14. Go scuba diving.

I'm from the Ocean State so I guess I should see the ocean up close and personal.

15. Learn how to line dance.

There's actually a barn in my state that does line dancing, so this one will definitely get crossed off.

16. Go kayaking.

All this water around me and I haven't done a lot of the water activites.

17. Stay the night in a haunted hotel room.

I bet if I got my friends to come with me, it would be like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody episode, minus the ghost coming out of the wall but you never know.

18. Get my palms read.

Because who doesn't want to know their future.

19. Go to a medium.

Like a medium that can communicate with people that have died.

20. Take a helicopter ride.

Air plane: check Helicopter:....

21. Sleep under the stars.

Because sleeping in a tent is more like glamping than camping

22. Just to try new things in my everyday life.

Whether it's trying a new restaurant, getting something different at my usual restaurants, changing my usual style, going on the scary rides at amusement parks, and bringing things I used to do back into my life now.

Cover Image Credit:

Author's illustration

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

50 ways to demonstrate self-love Today

It's the little things that count.


Today, and every day, it's important to incorporate self-love into our lives. Each day, we can do something little that adds up to something big to benefit ourselves and our mental health. Loving yourself comes in many forms and activities.

1. Remind yourself that you, and your feelings, are valid.

2. Be true to yourself.

3. Do not let others take away your uniqueness.

4. List 10 things that you love about yourself.

5. Read your favorite book.

6. Take a walk alone and reflect on what makes you happy.

7. Do yoga.

8. Watch a movie that makes you laugh (or cry).

9. Paint your nails.

10. Buy your favorite drink from your favorite coffee shop.

11. Take a nap.

12. Eat your favorite food.

13. Start exercising.

14. Write down how you are feeling.

15. Identify a challenge in your life, and develop a plan to overcome it.

16. Get a massage or a facial.

17. Talk on the phone with someone you love.

18. Cry if you need to.

19. Pet a dog.

20. Go get your hair done.

21. Buy a new outfit that you feel confident wearing.

22. Log off of social media for one day.

23. Drink lots of water.

24. Talk about your life journey with someone else.

25. Color a picture.

26. Try a new hobby.

27. Go outside, and find five beautiful things to take pictures of.

28. Think about what has made you grateful today.

29. Let go of something that is bothering you.

30. Look up inspiring quotes.

31. Engage in uplifting self-talk.

32. Light your favorite candle.

33. Go on a drive to a place where you feel at peace.

34. Think about how much you have grown.

35. Take note of your accomplishments for the day.

36. Recognize your feelings and know that you are allowed to feel.

37. Take the leap of faith to get the help or assistance that you need.

38. Be kind to others.

39. Write a letter to your younger or future self, and read it over.

40. Start a gratitude journal.

41. Put on your favorite face mask.

42. Clean out your closet or room of clothes you no longer wear.

43. Understand how important self-love is.

44. Write small, encouraging notes to yourself on post-its, and put them around your room or home.

45. Take a bubble bath.

46. Smile at yourself.

47. Try meditating for 10 minutes in the morning.

48. Do something that is truly relaxing to you.

49. Go to a park.

50. Do what makes you the happiest.

Every single person is worthy is self-love. The ways of engaging in self-love are infinite, so you are able to find what works best for you. Do not doubt yourself! When you start to love yourself, it seems like life makes a lot more sense.

Cover Image Credit:


Related Content

Facebook Comments