You probably remember your first semester of college, when you were wide eyed and bushy tailed, where you were given a full schedule and got involved in extracurriculars, whether that be a sport, a club, or a theater production. My first semester was a little different.

For one, I started my first semester at 20 years old. After high school, I took a gap year, which turned into a year and a half. Then, my dad got a job at Hastings College so I thought, why not? So I enrolled for the second semester in only 2 classes. That’s another way my first semester was different than other students. I thought it would be easier for me to ease into the college scene after a year and a half break. Because of that, I haven’t felt near as much stress as other students.

Speaking of students, I made friends with more of them than I thought I would. One of my good friends from high school goes to the same college I do and she introduced me to her friends, who were all quick to welcome me into their group. I also befriended my tour guide of the campus before my first day and she’s had my back since. She introduced me to her friends in the theater department where I met a lot of talented and loud people. I also meet the forensics team that I will be joining next year. They were all very nice and said they were excited for me to compete with them next year, and I’m excited too!

Since I was only a part time student, I also didn’t live on campus, which made it hard to go to campus activities. However, I did have to opportunity to go to some plays, hang out with friends, and help with a speech meet.

As a 20 year old, part time college student, I didn’t have a typical first semester of college. I didn’t live on campus, I didn’t join a club, and I didn’t get overwhelmingly stressed out. During times like this, where I feel like I’m behind everyone else my age in life, I have to remind myself that life is not a race and everyone goes at their own pace. I am very excited to take on college next year