College. The time to make lifelong friends, find yourself in extracurriculars, and earn that degree on time. Doesn't sound familiar? It didn't to me either, after my first semester. I can't complain, though. Who wouldn’t prefer heartbreak, four relocations, and an extra ten pounds over the wondrous first semester seemingly everyone else is enjoying? (Only me?) Ok, so your first semester wasn't great. It wasn't even good. Here are five things about the new semester to look forward to so that your first year wasn't a total flop.
1. Your Space
This mainly applies to those of us residing on campus. Coming back from home to your own dorm, room, etc. is coming back to your own way of doing things; only this time, without the confusion and anxiety of first moving in. While most of us share corridors with at least one roommate, it is easy to get back into or even find your groove for the first time in this space to become reacquainted with. The change of the semester brings the change of people to share space with. You might be surprised to unpack next to a new roommate or floormate that might be a key component to having a better semester. Open a window. Put out a scent comb. Greet a new face. Going back to your space is going back to the opportunity to learn more about yourself.
If you are a commuter, the start of the new semester is the start of getting back out of the house. Sometimes we desperately are searching for an excuse to leave our home. Though heading to a work environment, it is a chance to try new things that might be just what you were missing. Indulge in that new place to eat. Take that peculiar road back instead (leave plenty of time!). Compile a new playlist. Do what you were afraid to do last semester.
Yes, food. Who doesn't love food? Whether it is your fuel, guilty-pleasure companion (thanks, mint chip ice cream), or both, a college campus usually is home to innumerable places to eat. While not all schools offer selections that are exactly...gourmet...your last semester presented you with at least one entrée that perhaps "wasn't that dreadful." Getting back to campus is getting back to food that, let's admit, you didn't always hate.
3. Courses/Course Work
Ok, stay with me on this one. I don't think any of us are particularly anxious to get back to procrastination guilt, late nights, and arguments with technology. However, work is the reason we're here! One way or another, working hard on assignments is what got you into and keeps you in college. Sometimes that kick of motivation is what we need to get out of bed and contribute to society (I hate that phrase, too). Every assignment completed is a step closer to your degree.
New classes can be full of opportunity, too. Your classmates are, usually, a mystery. Your future best friends or S.O. could be waiting just behind the opening date of classes. Just because you didn't make five solid bonds your first semester does not mean there are not people just as indirectly anxious to meet you. Your professors, too, don't have to be figures to dread. The professional to set you up for your next internship or connect you to potential employers is waiting for you.
4. The "Fresh Start" Attitude
I, too, cringe whenever I cross the word "attitude." I prep myself for corny advice about changing my perspective, etc. (nothing like this article...). However, the "Fresh Start" Attitude is with us as a parasite. Whether it be because of the new year or new semester, we have a faint glimpse of the people we could be by the conclusion of the given amount of time. Acknowledging this phenomenon does not have to be the end of self-control and start of purchasing Inspiration Quote Eighteen Month Calendars. On the contrary, this could be your excuse to do exactly as you please. There is a recorded break in time between who you were last semester and who you could be for the books. Chances are, you're not the only one wanting a fresh start and your peers will not only be accepting, but also encouraging.
So your first semester wasn't great. Neither was mine. Neither were a lot of students'. But if you anticipate at least two of the things above for next semester, you might find the college experience you've been searching for or better. Do not hold fast to a sole ideal and set yourself up for disappointment if it is not fulfilled. Every school and experience is different: Keep an open mind. Find things to be happy about. Fall 2018 you will thank you. Happy Spring. Crush it.