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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Five Ways to Deal with a Loud Roommate

There is still hope...for a good night's sleep

There is nothing wrong with wanting to bring friends over to your dorm or apartment, but sometimes it is not the right time. During the day, it is completely fine to blast music, but when midnight comes around, it becomes obnoxious. Getting woken up on a school night is not fun, so here are some ways to handle having either one or two loud roommates.

1. Play Loud Music(With/Without Headphones)

If their talking extremely loud or having a loud karaoke session with their friends, it’s only fair to blast your mixtape or your favorite song. Really good ear buds or headphones will do the trick too.

2. Bring Over Your Friends

They want to have a party, then make it a party! You can ignore your roommate while having fun with your own squad. If they get annoyed when their being just as loud with their friends, it means they are hypocrites and it is not your problem.

3. Buy a Big Fan

This works better in an apartment where everyone gets their own room. I know from personal experience that once that loud fan comes on, it blocks out most of the noise surrounding you. I don't recommend using it during the winter unless you get really annoyed.

4. Leave

This is my least favorite solution since it’s not fair, but it isn't a bad idea when you’re on the verge of cursing someone out. Try finding a friend to hang out with. If not, drive or walk around for a while. Just find some peace and quiet, especially if you have to study.

5. Talk to Them

Even if you don’t think they will listen, it doesn't hurt to try. You could address them while their being loud to remind them that you're not deaf. Or you could sit them down and make some sort of an arrangement where you both feel comfortable. If you talk to them and they chose to still be obnoxious, then you might want to consider the other solutions above. Or better yet, get a new roommate.

Cover Image Credit: psIloveyou

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Find Some Time To Do Nothing

Why the suburbs raised me well and I didn’t realize it.

I was born and raised in a small village in Upstate New York called Pittsford. Population: 27,219. I mostly hated growing up there. I always thought I was destined for a city- constant people and things to do. Probably because I was and always have been bad at boredom. Boredom, in many ways, is my worst enemy. As a kid, I never knew what to do with it. I would drive my mom insane pacing around the house trying to get her to take me to do something or play a game with me or just let me ramble about how bored I was to her.

She would incessantly ignore me to the point where I would freak out and get so tired I would have to take a nap. Then she would say - “there you go, that’s all you had to do was just be still.” I never understood that- “just be still.” It made no sense to an anxious, vigorous mind like mine. “Just being still” was just simply not an option.

After almost 10 years of this routine - boredom, anxious pacing and freaking out - I had had enough. I was in 9th grade and I couldn’t take it anymore. I had one last major ‘freak out’ over winter break that year. It lasted nearly 10 hours. I had plainly lost my mind. One shattered mirror, a smashed iPhone and many slammed doors later, I was nearing the end of some of the most painful, dreadful 10 hours of my life.

I found myself lying on a bench in the hallway of my mothers' house, squeezing my head and telling it to shut up. My mom sat with me silently for many hours, repeating the words “just be still.” I got it- I finally got it. That was what was wrong. My head could not be still and boredom itched that reality a little bit too harshly.

With lack of ability to find constant entertainment in my small little town and quaint, quiet neighborhood, I was forced to face the demons in my head that boredom would expose. I realized, through many anxiety attacks and silent days and nights alone with my thoughts, I realized that there had to be an alternative reality- that life couldn’t possibly consist of such incessant anxious nagging thoughts because otherwise, the human race wouldn’t exist.

As a result, I came to understand more of the depths of my being and the crevices of my mind that often acted like black holes. I began to reach inwards for long-term contentment instead of reaching outwards for provisional bliss. Boredom thus has forced and allowed me to come to know myself on a deeper level.

I have been able to understand the demons of the mind and know them on the most personal level possible. I have also learned how to combat these demons before they are even born as a result of knowing them so deeply. So, despite the bad reputation that boredom gets, I attest that it is one of the most crucial parts of personal and spiritual growth. Contrasting with the words of Tyler the Creator- I proclaim that we, the human race, “find some time to do ‘nothing’.”

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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