First Month Of College In A Nutshell

First Month Of College In A Nutshell

From eight hours a day to an eight hour gap.
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Another month of my life has come and gone, however this one contained quite a few changes. The fact that I am now almost halfway through my first semester as a freshman in college is almost surreal. This experience has opened up my eyes to so many things that I was previously blinded to at my small, rural high school. There are parts that I love very much, and parts that personally, I am not a fan of.

I've learned so much this semester alone, it's incredible. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I have three classes that are all an hour long. Unfortunately, my first class on each of these days is my 8 a.m. calculus class. Yes, you heard that right. Math at eight o'clock in the morning. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to skip that class but in all honesty, it's not worth it. Skipping classes may seem "cool" or like a much better option than rolling out of bed at an ungodly hour, but professors notice more than you think. At a small school like Misericordia, the average class size is approximately 30 students. Professors get to know you. It's not that hard in a class that small. Even if they can't remember your name (which is understandable considering how many people they see in a day) they notice seats that are empty that usually aren't. College isn't only about the education you're paying (a lot!) for, it is about making professional connections. The professors aren't there to get you or to be a glorified babysitter. They aren't like all of the high school teachers tell you. They do care, they do want to know you, and they do make an effort to be more than just someone who spits information at you and then tests you on it. They want to help you and they want to see you succeed. Don't get me wrong, there are professors that are total clichés and do not care, but they are very few and far between.

Eight a.m. classes will forever be the bane of my existence. Getting up that early to go to a class that you really don't want to sit through is not ideal, but you have to do what you have to do. One thing that makes these classes a bit more bearable is the fact that you don't have 8 classes all jam-packed into one day. I'm currently taking 16 credits and the workload is full but not unbearable. However, if I were to have all of these classes in one day, I would be drowning. The fact that in college you're not overloaded each day is a huge help to your productivity. When there's a huge gap in your schedule, there's only so much you can do before you have to be at your next class, so why not just do work? Your friends can wait until all of your classes are over. That's how I've planned my social life for this first month and so far it's been incredibly effective. So for procrastinators like myself, trust me it's a godsend. Also, the fact that I can stay at the school even after my classes end, go to the library, and focus on my work while still on campus provides me with the opportunity to stay on top of my work while surrounded with useful resources if I were to get stuck on something. These gaps in your schedule are lifesavers. (How do you think I write these articles each week?)

Another factor of college that hit me in this first month was that there is so much more freedom here. In high school you were forced to stay in the same building for hours upon hours, with the same kids for hours upon hours. Here in college? After your class ends, you can leave. Like, get in your car and drive somewhere (if you're a commuter or have a car on campus). There's nothing here that's forcing you to stay. If you dorm, you can go take a nap or do homework in the library. There's no hall passes or sign out sheets, they actually treat you like the adult you've become. Enjoy it but show the insititution the same respect that they've given to you.

Overall, college has been a very eye-opening experience for me in this first month. It's difficult, the workload is heavier, but the opportunities they present you with in order for you to succeed takes some of the pressure off. I am so glad and grateful that I took advantage of the opportunity that was provided to me and decided to further my education. I wouldn't trade this for the world.

Go Cougars!

Cover Image Credit: Misericordia University

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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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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