Lessons From Starting Freshman Year
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Student Life

6 Lessons I've Learned In My First Semester

Starting this new college journey has taught me a lot.

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6 Lessons I've Learned In My First Semester
author's own

After a couple months of studying, practicing, settling into new classes and routines, and learning to navigate a new social atmosphere, my first semester of college is finally coming to a close. So much has changed since move-in day that I could not have imagined happening, and reflecting back on all of it brings on a sense of content with how college life has turned out so far. Having such a good start (despite all the ups and downs that occur in any part of life) has taught me a number of lessons that I want to hold onto as I move forward into the rest of my career here.

1. Buy healthy snacks.

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It seems so small but it's so helpful! Looking back on my habits before I got here, you'd be surprised that I'm saying this. I really like snacks and tend to go through them so quickly, resorting to junk food when there's nothing else. And while this is alright in moderation, my habits can get pretty bad. Buying snacks like pretzels and little easy-to-eat fruits like raisins has given me (a person who basically will go through whatever I have in my snack drawer so long as I like it enough) something to eat while not giving me as much guilt.

2. Surround yourself with people who get what you're all about in terms of work ethic and school circumstances.

This has been especially important in a degree program with a schematic that really loads up every semester. Having friends who get it when I have to skip out early in order to practice helps enormously.

3. Figure out what you need in order to function.

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This is so important, and encompasses mind, body, and spirit (to use an overused but fitting phrase). Learning successfully and getting the most out of this semester has meant that I've needed to keep a close eye on my well-being in all three areas- and that means checking in every so often and evaluating my routine. This covers everything from my sleep schedule, how I stay present, and my diet, among others. It means so much more to me now than it did in high school- partly because it's all on me, and also because tuition is not cheap, and I want to make sure all that money is getting its best use.

4. Being lazy sets you up for guilt later.

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There are so many resources I've discovered on campus that have helped me discover how to better manage my time, and they have been life-changing. I have never felt so on top of things, and though I still fall into laziness just like anyone else, being my own boss has really strengthened my self-awareness and motivated me to take charge in areas like this.

5. Making friends with upperclassmen in pre-existing relationships can be scarier that making friends with other freshmen, but you can do it.

Writing this down has made me realize that this isn't just something I should consider in this specific school context, but that it applies to any similar situations in life. (Note to future self- remember this when new freshmen come in over the next few years in case they feel the same way. See lesson 6.)

6. Be yourself and the right people will find you.

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It is so much better than trying to be some cooler version of yourself. Finding people that genuinely appreciate, understand, and/or can laugh about me and all the weird things I do has been one of the most rewarding experiences. I am endlessly glad I took advantage of this brand new start to figure out a little more about the person I am/want to be and be open about it. It has brought some really great people into my life. (Plus, I've found that nothing that I find weird about what I do is actually that extreme in the scheme of my school as a whole, and there's nothing wrong with any of it.)


The opportunity to start somewhere new, study what I love, and become part of a community that I've grown to enjoy living in is something I'm really grateful for. I'm excited to carry these little but important things that I've learned so far with me so that I can continue this path of growth that I've begun. I can't wait to see where it takes me.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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