As finals are rapidly approaching for me, and some are already in the midst of finals week, I figure it might be time to reflect on my first four months of college. Now, to tell you the truth, college isn’t perfect by any means. It is messy, and disheartening, and sometimes downright awful. But it is also eye-opening, inspiring, and beautiful. The transition wasn’t that easy, but now that I have (mostly) adjusted, here are some things I have learned.

  1. College isn’t for everyone. While it may be shown as the only option, if you don’t think it's the right choice for you, don’t spend the money. I’ve seen so many people not being able to finish their degree because they realize that they don’t belong, and its very sad to see. Make sure you have a plan, but if you need to get a job instead of a college education there is no shame in that.
  2. You have to be in tune with yourself. Really be able to understand what you want in life, in order to succeed. This isn't to say you need to have it all figured out, because I certainly don’t. Just know what is best for you at that moment in time.
  3. Nothing should be expected. I came into college expecting to have a solid friend group by the second week, good grades, and be involved in clubs. While that is a great goal to have, you should know when it is time to change it up and readjust.
  4. It's going to be hard. Maybe it was just me, but the transition to college was so much harder than I anticipated. Being away from everyone I had ever known, and having no one to really look out for me wasn’t freeing, it was anxiety-inducing. There was definitely a grieving period, and I was almost certain I wouldn’t make it through college. I’m glad that I didn’t give up, but it took everything in me to hold it together.
  5. Who and what I value most. I have come to find out who is really my friend, and I have also felt so much more love for my family. College makes you really step up and make decisions about what you really value, and for me my relationships with others were more valuable than a stupid party or bar crawl. I have spent many nights just talking to my friends, as opposed to going out, and I realize that it says a lot about who I am as a person.

I’m sure there are a lot more struggles to come, but for right now I am excited for second semester. I am ready for a new set of classes, and with it a new array of opportunities. College is not an easy journey, and mine is definitely not the norm, but it will be so rewarding at the end of it all.