6 Things I Learned During My First Semester At College

6 Things I Learned During My First Semester At College

One semester down!

So I survived my first semester at college! And I loved every minute of it! Here are a few things that I've learned in my first 14 weeks away from home.

1. College is very different than high school

This is a cliche but it's so true. At college you are in control of your schedule. You choose which classes to take, which professors you have, and what you do with your free time. It's very easy to procrastinate without strict schedules and parents, but it's also very easy to develop time management skills and get involved in all kinds of activities. In college, at least at a small school like mine, you also have the opportunity to get to know professors in a way that just isn't possible in high school.

2. Getting out of the dorm is important

Homesickness is a very real struggle, and so are boredom and depression. All of which get worse when you are inside the same four walls doing nothing all day. I can't stress enough how important it is to go out and do things. Whether it's playing a sport, joining an academic club, going to town with friends, or even just hanging out around campus, do not stay in your room all the time. It's nice to have a place to retreat to and feel at home it, but make sure you aren't there 24/7.

3. Finals are survivable

Finals week sucks, there's no denying that. But there are ways to get through it without going completely insane. First, don't save all of your studying for finals week. Make sure you are working on final papers and projects in advance and doing at least some of the reading you need to. Then, prioritize and make sure you include time to de-stress. My friends and I popped bubble wrap, ate ice cream, had a rotation of naps, colored, and screamed at midnight every night to help eliminate some of the stress we had.

4. Everyone's roommate relationship will be different and that's okay

My roommates and I are best friends and plan on living together next year. I have other friends who cohabitate with their roommates and get along fine, but aren't necessary close friends. And I know people who for various reasons switched their rooming situation at the end of the first semester. Every situation is different and it is all a learning experience. Regardless of who you room with and what your relationship with them looks like, learning to live with another person. or more than one other person, is an important part of the college experience and growing up.

5. College friendships form deeply and quickly

Relationships in college seem to develop faster than any other friendships I have had so far. I don't know if it was because we were living in close proximity to one another or because we were all going through the same huge life changes at the same time, but by the end of the first month most people I know had established a core of friends that only grew and deepen as the semester progressed. College friends see you at the worst part of your mental breakdowns and at your highest moments. If you find the right people, they may even become your second family.

6.If you are struggling, take advantage of resources on campus

College is hard. Whether you are struggling academically, homesick, or going through a difficult time, a lot of schools offer various resources such as tutoring, a writing center, or even counseling. They are there to help, and you do pay for these services, so you might as well take advantage of them to help yourself be your best in all areas of life.

Cover Image Credit: Haley Callicott

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.

The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:

“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:


When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:

"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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You have no right to hurt others because you don’t agree with them.


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