7 Things I Have Learned From My First Semester Of College

7 Things I Have Learned From My First Semester Of College

The only journey is the journey within.

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I have finally finished my first semester of college. I have had so many amazing memories and met so many people. I have also learned a lot and wanted to share some of those lessons. Here are 7 things I have learned from my first semester at Butler.

1. Learning how to prioritize.

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Especially in college, prioritizing your studying is essential. My FYS class was designed where you can turn in work when you want so it fits in with your schedule. To stay on top of things, I decided to turn in writing assignments each week. There was one week that was particularly stressful and I chose to not do a writing assignment for that week. Since I am a perfectionist, I had to realize that it was okay to prioritize other classes first and that everything was still going to be okay.

2. You are going to have difficult professors and classes, but those are the ones that inspire you the most.

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While I enjoyed all of my classes this semester, there was one in particular that caused more stress. The professor's teaching style didn't click with me, so I ended up working a lot harder in the class and for the final. While I didn't like it in the moment, I think it truly helped me become a better writer and reader.

3. Take advantage of the time you have during the day.

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This semester, I didn't start any of my classes until 11 am. While that was nice, I realized I wasn't very productive with my time at first. Sometimes, I would sleep in late, or not start homework until after all of my classes were done. That led to some late nights that could have been prevented. I eventually got up earlier and did homework in the morning before my classes even started and I noticed a huge difference. That is something I'm going to continue to work on.

4. It's okay to not have everything figured out.

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Going to Butler, I was a part of the Exploratory Studies Program. As the semester went on, I have figured out my true passion and I declared my major as Secondary Education and English. I am still exploring some things regarding my major and career. Especially with this, I have learned to go with the flow and that everything will happen for a reason.

5. Try to get out of your comfort zone.

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In the beginning, I kept to myself and didn't really venture out into trying new things. However, one thing I started doing was going to events for Tau Beta Sigma and Kappa Kappa Psi. Usually, I only go to things where I can go with a friend to make it less scary. However, none of my friends were interested in these organizations, so I eventually forced myself to go by myself. I learned that I shouldn't throw opportunities away just because I'm the only one who wants to go. It turned out to be the best decision I have made. I've made a lot of new friends and they all made me feel welcomed.

6. Take care of yourself.

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College can be a stressful and busy time. It's very important to make sure health comes first. No matter how important a class or an assignment is, it's not more important than how you feel physically or mentally. If you need to take a day for yourself, remember that it's okay. I'm currently working on eating throughout the day and getting good sleep because those simple tasks can make a difference in how I'm feeling.

7. Be yourself and have fun.

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I'm slowly realizing and still learning that it's good to be yourself. College is not like high school and that people will like you for who you are. Being unique is a good thing and there will be people out there that will accept you. Also, it's important to have fun in college. While homework and studying is necessary, I make sure to have things I'm looking forward to throughout the week.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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The Art Of Sportsmanship

Not the superficial kind...

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Shaking the other player's hands at the end of the game, being nice to the other team, screaming three hoorays; demonstrations of sportsmanship. No. Sportsmanship goes far beyond the superficial "niceties", thereby a trait that should be instilled in both the players and spectators as a form of dignity.

What's wrong with cheering for the Clippers when they miss a jump shot? What's wrong with cheering for Djokovic when his shot bashes into the net? We all have our favorite teams, what's wrong with that? The truth is, there are many things wrong with rooting for the opponent and his failure, rather than rewarding cheers for when your team player shoots a great basket, scores a phenomenal touchdown or even an elegant crossbar goal.

However, this does not mean that you must always root for both teams, or as I do, for the underdog. Instead, sportsmanship is an important embodiment of respect to any sport and the players, coaches, and referees. The following few methods and examples as to why true sportsmanship from both spectator and athlete showcases respect and class.

1. Respect

Paramount to good sportsmanship, the concept is very easily understood, however putting this into play can be very difficult. Treat others as you want to be treated is the golden rule, and adding another dimension of treating others as they want to be treated becomes platinum. In sports, this can extend to prioritizing the team instead of yourself; giving up your shot at scoring by passing to a teammate, something along those lines. Additionally, respecting teammates by encouragement, support and picking them up when they fail will not only build their confidence, and make them feel safer, but it will also render you more respect within that team.

Respecting the game, is a whole other type of respect, and learning and understanding the rules, though overlooked, is important. As spectator, calling out fouls and being unaware of what actually happened is nothing but snobbish especially if you don't understand the game. Another form of disrespect comes in the lack of hustle, that leads to giving up especially under losing circumstances, and even in the face of pressure.

2. Class: Grace and Maturity

It is heart wrenching to play the game of your life, and put everything into something, only for it to not be enough and still have to say "good job" and shake hands with the opponent. But it proves maturity when you can keep "losing" in perspective. By this sense, the most important phrase (applicable to anything) is that if it won't matter in 5 years, don't spend more than 5 minutes stressing about it. This does not dismiss the act of carefully thinking about certain things, but in the grand scheme of your life how much will it matter if you slap their hand, instead of shaking it with grace, and somewhat appreciating their victory. Therefore, it is important to accept responsibility for a loss, and not blame it on anyone else- the referee being the most common victim.

Additionally, a similar indication of grace is acknowledging the winner- which, though difficult, shows discipline and a high degree of emotional intelligence. On the other hand, winning with humility is the outcome of being respectful in the sense that it should be fun, for exercise rather than solely about being first or pursuing an individual goal. Therefore, we should learn to win and lose whilst maintaining perspective. At the same time that you win, someone else lost and keeping how they feel in mind shows grace. Striking the balance between celebrating your achievements and dejecting your opponent is difficult.

Team can mean anything, beyond sports, and in fact a lot of the goals of coaches, soccer- moms and dads and so on revolve around developing the athletes and even spectators into productive, balanced and caring people. The sports teams and individual players can serve as analogies for other life situations such as the workplace, family and even friends. And just like sports, life is tough wherein we must learn to deal with both success and failure rather than letting either debilitate us. Thomas Edison after failing to create a successful light build 9000 times said, "Why would I feel like a failure? And why would I ever give up? I now know definitively over 9000 ways that an electric light bulb will not work." Keeping positive spirits, and persevering can inspire motivation, result in dignity, grace and respect- ultimately sportsmanship and its' importance.

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