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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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.

It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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Life As An Only Child Is Not All Gifts And Rainbows

It's not as easy as it seems


Not only am I an only child, but I'm an only child with two only children for parents, so my family is very small. Which means I don't have too many allies within my family other than my grandparents and parents. Which, during a divorce can be pretty hard in terms of who to lean on. The one thing I had wished for during this time of my life was to have a sibling who could go through it with me. Most people think being an only child seems amazing. You get all the love, attention, money, gifts, etc. But it is not these things.

Yes, I got attention, but I got so much of it to the point where now in my adult life I crave that kind of constant, undivided attention that people simply do not give you. Of course, being the center of attention in your family was great as a child, but it can also be a lot of pressure. Being a golden-child is not an easy thing to live up to; in fact, it's almost impossible.

Being an only child is also very lonely. Lonely because there is a part of you that craves being alone because you became so used to it, but also lonely because there's no one in your family who relates to you on a close level. My mom and I are best friends, basically sisters, but ultimately she is still my mom. When she had to parent me often times (mostly in my teenage years) it would cause a strain because it is hard to be parented by someone who you are that close with (and when you're a bratty teenager).

People also typically have bad connotations of only children. We're spoiled brats who never learned the lessons that having siblings teaches you. While the second part may be true, we also learned lessons that having siblings can't teach you. And we are certainly not all spoiled brats. I was admittedly very spoiled as a kid, but I was not a brat for it. Being literally the only grandkid, the only person to spoil by everyone in the family, it is easy to understand why I would be.

So before you walk around deciding that being an only child is the way to go, just remember that it's not as easy as you think. It's very different than having siblings, and not only in good ways. Be thankful for your brothers and sisters, because there's a kid out there wishing that they had one (only sometimes though, let's not get too crazy).

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