My First Semester Of College Was Not What I Thought It Would Be

My First Semester Of College Was Not What I Thought It Would Be

But I guess I have to learn to bite the bullet to get my education.

My second semester of freshman year begins next week, and I'm planning to take it on by storm. My first semester was nothing less of the dull cliche you imagine, but it really helped me find my place on campus.

There are many things we hear about every freshman's first year and there are many things we are told about it. We all live it vicariously and very differently, and we all made time to develop our own opinions of what college is really like. I went to college thinking it was going to be a certain way, and I was hit really hard with the reality that what I thought it would be was not the case at all.

I was told before moving to college that I would find some of the best friends that I'll ever make in my entire life the first few weeks of college, which was not at all the case. I mean, I am pretty social. I joined a club and a sorority. I started writing for Odyssey. I got a job. But, those friends really just did not come. I know, I know. They aren't going to be handed to me and maybe I didn't put in the best effort to even make them, but honestly, I'm okay with who I've got, but it truly took me by surprise.

Aside from the best friends I never really found, I found out a lot about myself. I actually like school now, and that may not be the case for many of you, but school is actually fun to go to, for me at least. Coming from me, that's huge. I always hated elementary school and high school, and I certainly was never that person to say how much I honestly do love it like I am right now. Now that I'm in college, I get to design my own path and choose my own courses. I think that helps a lot with liking what I'm doing because it all suits me in a way.

I learned to manage my time more wisely moving to college, as crazy as that sounds. I also found that I am, indeed, a very hard worker. College pushes you, and I mean really pushes you. It's a never ending cycle, but it teaches you time management and motivation unless you're the complete opposite of me, then you do your own thing. But never the less, the push has really given me a lot of self-motivation that I never really knew I had.

I always thought that moving to college would mean endless free time and the ability to binge watch Netflix whenever I pleased. I was hit hard with the reality my first semester that it just really isn't the case. Sure, you have your free time here and there, but I've honestly never had enough free time to sit down on the couch with a bag of chips and watch Netflix for as long as I please.

Since I moved to the U, I was also hit with the hard reality of walking. Oh yes, I said it. Walking. Everywhere you go. Unless you're one of the cool kids who can whip around on your bike, like the majority of us, you're probably stuck walking. I think the first week I moved to college I walked over 30 miles, and I prayed that would be the last time I ever walked that much in one week, but honestly, I think I've walked more since then. At the U, especially living in Superblock, I've found that walking is a must and if you can't learn to walk fast, you're not going to make it to that early morning class on West Bank on time. So, to all of you incoming freshman, get ready to walk and be prepared.

Another thing that my first semester in college has taught me is that I really, really hate winter. It's almost like I've said it before. Oh, right, I have. Every single winter for the past 18 years of my life. But, as said before, you walk a lot on campus, and that walking doesn't come to a stop in the winter. I'm not really fond of the underground tunnels or the campus connector, so I stick to my endless complaints and take on the cold. Moving to the U has made me dislike winter to the most extreme level yet, but I guess I have to learn to bite the bullet to get my education.

So, maybe your freshman year was nothing like mine, or maybe you can relate to me on an extreme level, but my first semester of my freshman year has taught me a lot and showed me a lot about who I am. It sure wasn't the picture perfect first semester, but really nothing is picture perfect these days.

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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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Today, I'm Grateful For The Accident That Nearly Ended Everything

It changed my life for the worse — and then for the better.


Four years ago, on August 5th, 2014, I was in a car accident on highway I-80. We swerved over the median and into oncoming traffic. I was in the front passenger seat so I was at the point of impact. I broke my right hand, my right leg and I got a traumatic brain injury. I was in the hospital for almost two months and then was in therapy for a few months after that.

Though it was subtle, the accident changed me as a person and at first, I hated it. I wanted to go back to the way I was before and didn't understand why I couldn't. But looking back, I'm happy the accident happened and turned me into who I am today.

It's an odd thing to say, right? I'm glad my life and personality were almost permanently changed due to this traumatic car accident. But let me explain.

Before the accident, I was a shy little thing that didn't like to talk about my problems. I was depressed but no one knew so I wasn't getting the help I needed. After the accident, however, it was like a dam had broken in me. I couldn't stop talking and I was telling everyone about my problems. I was an introvert that suddenly had to navigate how to be an extrovert. I had to learn where the line was of what was appropriate to say and talk about and what wasn't.

Thankfully, after four years, I have a therapist to help me with my mental health and I think I have the whole socializing thing down... for the most part.

Another benefit of the accident is that is showed me who my real friends are. Most people who I considered to be my friends visited me for my first month out of the hospital. They would tell me how classes are going and how they missed me but then they would talk about themselves and their problems like I was only there to listen; I wasn't supposed to talk about my problems but I did. Some of them drifted away and didn't text me or ask me to hang out with them after a few months. It really hurt and made me really sad and wonder, "What did I do?" I felt so alone.

Eventually, I realized that how they were acting was not my fault and if they treated me like that, then they weren't my real friends. It taught me how I deserve to be treated and it's okay if the only company you have is you.

One of the best good things that came out of the whole hospitalization thing is that I got a dog! His name is Winchester, Chester for short, and he is a mini husky. I picked him out from pictures my dad showed me and I liked that he had one eye that was half brown and half blue. I went with my dad to pick him up from the breeder in Kansas only a week after I got out of the hospital. Chester sat on my lap the whole three hours home. My parents got him for me because they thought it would be nice for me to have a little companion and they were right. He doesn't bark or pee in the house, he's loyal, he can be playful but he can also be lazy. He is the bestest little puppers ever and I love him so much!

Moral of the story: If you want a dog but your parents won't get you one, get in an accident that almost kills you and then maybe they'll get you a dog. (But really don't do that.)

Throughout the years, I've spent too much time thinking about what would have happened if I hadn't gotten in the car that day. But I think this was something that was meant to happen to me. If I hadn't been in that accident, I might've gotten hurt a different way and my injuries could have been worse. I am actually thankful that this happened to me because if it hadn't, who knows the kind of person I would be today?

Plus, if it hadn't happened, I wouldn't have gotten a dog and he makes my life so much better so I'm glad I have him.

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