How College Taught Me To Mature

What My Almost First Semester Of College Has Taught Me

College is full of up and downs, don't be afraid to take it on head first, but always hold your own.

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With Thanksgiving break over, the semester is officially coming to a close. So many things have happened this semester that have helped me grow. It went by faster than I thought it would, but I have learned quite a lot about myself.

I learned that you need to study WAY more in college than in high school. It is better to do assignments, and other homework like papers in advance so you don't get overwhelmed. Especially towards the end of the semester, there are a lot of papers, and projects due along with the finals themselves that can be quite intimidating if you don't start early.

If you're a girl, you do not need to worry about boys, or having a boyfriend. Stressing yourself out over a boy is not worth losing sleep, focus, or missing class. Your first year is for you to find yourself, and who you are. It's your chance to make new friends, and experience things for the first time. Take time to get to know people, and work on figuring out a steady routine.

It is so hard to get into a routine, especially because you do not get to pick your classes for the first semester. I had so much trouble getting into a routine. I would sleep at different times, eat at different times, and was constantly sick. My advice is to plan out your week so you can better prioritize what needs to get done, but also still have time for yourself.

Speaking of, always make time for yourself. Even if its one hour of the day. Take a break. Relax. Go outside. Write in a journal. Take a trip. Go out with friends. Watch a movie. It is so important to take care of yourself in college. You will spend most of your days doing school work, so it's a good thing to take an hour, or maybe even a day, where you can just do what you want to do.

I learned that being social and making friends will help you ease in college and be more comfortable. I picked my roomates my first year, which I do recommend, but sometimes you will be surprised when picking a random roomate. You have to live with your roomate(s) for a whole year, so my advice would be to make sure you get to know who you are rooming with.

You will find yourself in certain conflicts and situations that are negative. Be mature. You are an adult now, act like one.

I learned that you will get homesick no matter how badly you want to get out of your town and start a new life. You will miss them, so reach out to them, and talk to them at least once a week.

But I also learned to not be so hard on myself when it comes to all of these things. Friends will come, grades will come if you put in the effort, the most important thing is to find out who you are, who you want to be, and who you want to surround yourself with through your college career.

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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Why You Should Bring Your Close Friend As Your Formal Date

Before asking that cute girl to formal think about asking a friend

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Every year since I was a junior in high school I have always looked forward to homecoming or prom. When I got to college I began to look forward to my fraternity formal. I was never concerned with what to wear or the expense of formal but rather who I was going to ask. It can be difficult to make a decision. If you ask anyone friends with me they will tell you how I am one of the most indecisive people out there. There are so many people I am friendly with or have a close relationship that it can feel difficult to make a decision. But let's look at that phrase again. You might think why does he want to bring someone who is his friend to his fraternity formal rather than someone he likes or is dating. To answer this question, some of the girls I have liked I have not been able to be the true me around and that also applies to the girls I have dated as well. I am different around my friends and I want someone to know the real me rather than me just having to pretend.

Maybe I am still experiencing the effects of a fun weekend but I have noticed that every formal or prom that I have brought a date with not only was a fun formal but interacted and connected well with my friends. That is the main thing I look for in a formal date, they need to be liked by my friends and many of them are still pretty friendly after the formal. You are spending the weekend with them and the drive down for you formal. There will be a lot of time spent with your date so it is important to bring someone you know you will have fun with. I am not saying that there isn't anything wrong with bringing someone else but I always found it best to bring a friend if you are not dating someone.

Think about the people you know you will always have fun with. This can be an indication of who you should bring and why but you should also think about the positives in this situation. Your fun and the time spent with the people should be prioritized before anything else. This event is about you and you should have someone with you that you know is fun to be around and someone you can enjoy yourself around along with your friends. Friends know you as well as you know yourself so there is not an idea of having to pretend to be someone else. The good thing about friends is that you do not run out of things to talk about and there is always something new to learn. Take your formal as a trip that you get to experience with the people closest to you. That is my take.

The key for me is to know that I will have fun with my date at formal. The drive to formal can be long and you are sharing a hotel room with your date along with spending time with them during the trip. I talk a lot. I want someone I know who I can carry a conversation with and will not just respond with words such as Yeah or Sounds good. I have always been able to remember not only my formals but specific parts of it as well. I think this is possible because of who I have brought and the memories I made with them.

Formals are important to everyone so think about who you want to spend that moment with. There is nothing wrong with bringing someone who you like but there also is nothing wrong with bringing a friend. Some people might bring someone they are dating but you should not have to compare yourself to other people. Do what makes you happy but remember this weekend is about you and you deserve to bring someone you will have fun with.

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