8 Things College Students Realize After Their First Semester

8 Things College Students Realize After Their First Semester

Naps, caffeine and friends are essential for survival.
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Each freshman's first semester away at school is unique, but there are some experiences that seem to be universal. (Trust me. I knew that my 9 a.m. class wasn't ideal when I woke up at 8:55 one morning.) Like "High School Musical" taught us, "We're all in this together."

1. Professors are not as scary as people make them out to be.

Although your professors will have high expectations (this is college, after all), they are human beings just like you. It's okay to stop by their office just to say hello; in fact, this is very important to do because it shows them that you care.

2. Just because you could go to class at 8:30 a.m. in high school doesn't mean you can do it in college.

You are not going to want to get out of bed this early in the morning when you were up late the night before writing your research paper (or watching an entire season of "The Office" on Netflix). You swear to yourself you'll never put yourself through an 8:30 a.m. class again.

3. Although skipping class may be tempting, it will come back to haunt you.

The one day you decide to skip class will be the one day when your professor teaches you five new units and gives you a pop quiz that you can't make up. It always happens this way.

4. You are going to make a lot of acquaintances, but only a few of them will turn out to be your friends.

Welcome Week will bring you lots of acquaintances, but late nights spent crying over stress will show you who your true friends are.

5. You don't really know how to study, but you quickly realize you need to learn.

You never had to study in high school, but now you have to learn how to do it since your success depends on three test grades. (Sometimes, you get lucky and have a few quiz grades to help balance it out.)

6. Naps are essential for survival.

You are going to want to go right back to bed after your 9 a.m. class, and it's okay to do just that. Sometimes, our bodies need to recover from all of the work we put them through.

7. You are going to waste your money on coffee.

Caffeine keeps you going when you have a paper due the next day that you have yet to start writing. Coffee breaks are also a common way for friends to spend time together when there isn't much else to do on campus.

8. These next four (or five) years will determine who you are for the rest of your life.

Although your degree will determine what you will do in terms of your career, you will learn more about yourself than just that. You are going to learn who you are in the face of adversity and in the face of happiness; your first semester at college undoubtedly teaches you that.

College is a journey of ups, downs and all the in-betweens. We have many more semesters to come, each a different piece of our stories. The first semester is special, though; it marks the beginning of an expedition we never could've anticipated.

Cheers to the semesters we have yet to navigate -- and love.

Cover Image Credit: Peathegee Inc/Blend Images/Getty Images

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A Thank You To My Boyfriend's Family

Because you are so important to him, you are important to me.
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This one isn't easy to sit down and write because nothing I could say would do all of you justice in the way that I would hope I could. These are just words, but I hope that I am able to always show my thank you to you by treating him like the prince he is.

I can replay the moment of meeting each and every one of you all over and over in my head like it was yesterday. I was so extremely nervous every single time and I was trying to gather all the "right" things to say that would leave a good, first-lasting impression and that at the end of the day, you all would like me.

I think one of the most important basis and hopes in my relationship is that my significant other's family likes who I am. This is so important to me because whatever is important to him is equally important to me and your thoughts of me are crucial to our relationship.

The second I walked in the door, I was overwhelmed—overwhelmed with such a love. I had no idea at that point in time just how much you would all mean to me and how thankful I am for all of you!

Thank you for constantly making me laugh and feel at home.

Whenever I'm coming over for a family gathering or just to hang out, I know right off that I am walking into a world of laughter and good times are right beside that. You are all so entertaining and always have a good story to tell me. I can't name one time where I didn't feel like I was home.

And I appreciate the sweet, embarrassing photos and stories about my boyfriend that you all share with me! Even if it is by a photo, I have a glimpse of what his life has always been like thanks to each and every one of you individually.

Thank you for sharing your special moments in life with me.

You don't ever have to, but you invite me anyway. Whether it's just a family gathering, a birthday, or a holiday, I am thankful to have spent those times celebrating these moments in life alongside such amazing people. It's humbling and heartwarming to be a part of memories so unforgettable that you all share and that you have welcomed me to be a part of. They are days that I will never forget and have a place in my heart forever.

Thank you for always being there for him.

Since we have started dating, I have watched the way that you guys love him. I have watched the individual relationships and moments that you share with him make a difference in who he is. I have seen you all love and support him, no matter what he was doing.

With everything that comes along in life, this has been a simple reminder of an unconditional, loving, sacrificing family that is also the best support system. You are not only impacting him, but me, too.

Thank you for welcoming me in like your own.

Whenever you have to brave up and meet your significant other's family, I can say, for myself, that I didn't know what to expect. As I'm sure, none of you did when meeting me. Today, I catch myself wondering why I even worried in the first place. You all have welcomed me in your own ways and made me feel right at home. It is not always easy to do that with just anyone, but you have all taken the time to get to know me. And now I know that if I ever needed anything, I can call one of you.

Thank you for letting me date him.

I am most thankful for this. Thank you for sharing him with me and giving me a chance to show you all how important he is to me. I never thought that I would luck out and meet someone as special, kind, and wonderful as he is, but I did.

You have supported our relationship, given me a chance to love him, and welcomed me to new adventures in love and family. I have the upmost gratitude for each of you. You are the most wonderful, welcoming, and loving family. I am overjoyed to be able to experience just a glimpse of this life with him and with all of you.

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5 Things You Understand if You Are The Baby of the Group

That's okay, have fun without me
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If you are one of the youngest members of your friend group, then you know just how it feels when everyone starts turning 21. Here are 5 things that only the babies of the friend group understand.

1. Always the DD

Once your friends start turning 21 and decide to go out, guess who gets to pick them up? That's right. You. The one that still isn't 21.

2. The mom

You may be the youngest, but when your friends come back from a good night out, you are the most responsible and mature one of the group. You are the one that has to take care of them.

3. Being left out of things

Well, if you aren't 21, you can't go to that cool bar that everyone else is talking about or on that wine tour.

4. Home alone on the weekend

While everyone else gets to go out and have fun on the weekend, you get to sit at home in your pajamas, watching TV. Sure this isn't a terrible thing, but when you are getting snapchats, and seeing your friends post about the fun they are having, you feel left out.

5. By the time you turn 21, your friends are over the hype.

You are finally 21 and you invite all of your friends. You are so excited, and they are excited for you, but after that night, you wanna go out and have fun, but your friends don't wanna go out as much because the hype of them turning 21 has faded.

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