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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Dear Mom, I Hope You Know

I hope you know that I am here for you--until the very end.
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Dear Mom,

I hope you know that I appreciate you.

You are the hardest working woman I know, continuously putting your family before yourself. Thank you for doing all of the tedious jobs that no one wants to do like keeping the house in order, cooking the food, and doing the laundry. Thank you for constantly putting up with my siblings and I. Thank you for always supporting us in our interests and hobbies. Thank you for investing in our daily lives and listening to our minor problems. Thank you for always loving us unconditionally.

SEE ALSO: 51 Things My Mom Didn't Think I Was Listening To...

I hope you know I'm sorry.

I know I can be a big pain in the butt sometimes, and for that I'm sorry. I'm sorry for yelling at you, arguing with you, not listening to you, and making dumb decisions at times, but thank you for loving me anyways. Thank you for helping me stand back up, teaching me right from wrong, and pushing me to be the very best version of me.

I hope you know your love inspires me.

You live your life with a love that is contagious. Whether its nurturing love, tough love, friendly love, or romantic love, you have it all and you show it daily. The love you and Dad share is something I hope to find one day and the love you have for your family is evident in the way you constantly put us first.

I hope you know that you are my biggest role model and hero.

Ever since I was a little girl, you have been the person I have looked to in my life. You are strong, independent, confident, loving, supportive, and nurturing-- everything I strive to be as a woman and as a future mother. You give the best advice, even when I don't always take it. Though, I should know better by now because mothers always know best. Without you in my life, I honestly don't know where I'd be.

I hope you know that you are my best friend.

Not only are you my biggest cheerleader supporting me in everything I do, you are the person I talk to about everything, whether it's good or bad. I'm honestly so thankful for the relationship we share because I've had countless screwups and you literally give the best advice. Seriously, thank you for being the person I can count on at all times, at any time of the day or even night to just talk with. I mean we really do have some of the best conversations, best laughs, best cries (when needed), and the most fun watching cheesy chick flicks together or going on crazy shopping adventures.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl With The Cool Mom

I hope you know that I am here for you--until the very end.

I don't mean to make you cry or anything -- even though you probably already are, but I want you to know that when the time comes, I'm going to be there for you just like all of these years you've been here for me. I will be there to support you, talk with you, laugh with you, cry with you, and love you for all of my life.

Honestly, I can't really imagine my life without you -- but it doesn't matter because I wouldn't be here without you, so here's to you.

Thank you for being you.

Love you lots!

Your daughter.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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Poetry On Odyssey: Poems On Friendship

It can kill you or revive you, but whatever the case, it will change your life.

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A Poem Beginning with the Death of Caesar

Et tu, Brute?—Then fall Caesar.

[He dies.]


The stab wasn't what killed him,

no,

Caesar truly died of a broken heart.

Yes,

upon seeing his best friend involved in the conspiracy,

Caesar could no longer find the strength to live in this world.


I can't say I blame him.

A bond with a best friend,

a true best friend,

is deeper than family,

deeper than marriage.

They are your soulmate.


But that kind of relationship is a mutual thing.

It may be unspoken,

sure,

but it is mutual.


The pain of finding out a best friendship isn't mutual is unbearable.

The rejection is one thing,

but there's almost always an accompanying betrayal.


That's the real knife,

the real stab.

It twists in your heart and,

instead of blood,

makes tears flow.

And you stare at the one you loved so much,

wishing you could just disappear or die.


But you aren't Caesar,

they aren't Brutus,

and,

though the pain is there,

the knife isn't.

So you live,

wondering when the pain will end.


Still Fourteen - Beginning with a Line by Shakespeare

To me fair friend you never can be old

because you will always be fourteen,

awkward but happy-go-lucky,

with jacked-up teeth and mousy brown hair.


You knew no pain then,

not really,

and you were refreshing to my already tortured mind.

You made my dark times easier,

holding a flashlight out for me to find you,

even though you never knew what you were really doing.


Things are a little different now.

You have experienced pain and heartbreak,

despite my very best efforts to help you otherwise,

but I was there with a flashlight for you,

returning the favor.

You now know the full extent of all you did for me,

which makes it harder for me to hide my pain from you,

but I know that's for the best.


Still,

time has flown by the last eight years,

and every time I see you,

I still see the awkward fourteen-year-old in my algebra class,

asking if I want to work with her.

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