My First Year Of College Changed My Life

My First Year Of College Changed My Life

I had no idea college would change my life as much as it has.

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Making the decision to go to college was one of the biggest and hardest things I have ever done. I still remember all of the applications, all the tours, and all the thinking about where I would be the happiest. I am pleased to say I am more than happy with the university I chose to attend, but I had no idea how much it would change me.

Before I started college I didn't really know what to expect. I just thought I would go to a university, continue my education, and learn about things that I really care about. While all of that is true, I also learned things I never would have thought I would.

Going to college changed my whole life. If you compare my life now to what it was a year ago, there are very few similarities, if any at all. As I said, I am so glad that I have the opportunity to attend college, but I had no idea how much my life would change. Literally every aspect of my life is different now. How I interact with my friends, family, and even my own dog has changed. I didn't realize that being away from home would affect me so much and change the relationships I have with people. Since I basically don't live at home anymore, when I do go home it feels like I am just visiting. It's a strange feeling to have, feeling like a visitor in your own house.

As I previously mentioned, going to college changed the relationships I have with friends and family, too. Whenever I go home, I "catch up" with my family more than I used to. We often talk about everything that has happened to us recently and try to bring everyone to speed. This is different because when I lived at home, my family saw how I was doing every day and I could talk to them face to face every day, but my life isn't like that anymore. At first, that was hard for me to get used to, not seeing my family every day. I call home often, but there is something about talking face to face that is lost in a phone call.

Throughout my first year, I also learned more about myself and other people. This was something else I didn't expect to happen. I did not expect to change as much as I did as a person. If you compare how I was in high school, even in senior year, I would say I am a different version of myself, I mean this in a good way. Being in college has forced me to grow up more and I'm glad that I did. I am much more independent and in charge of the things that I do. It's almost hard to put into words how I have changed since starting college. It's like watching the seasons change or noticing a flower blooming. It just kind of happens on its own, almost without you realizing it until the change has taken place.

I definitely think going to college has helped me become more independent and confident in myself. I now know if I want to succeed, I have to put in the work and make it happen for myself. This is a challenge that I absolutely love about college. Everything is up to you, whether you pass or fail is dependent on your actions. This sounds scary, but to me it provides motivation to keep pushing and challenge myself, knowing my efforts will pay off.

Lastly, I learned in my first year of college how much I really can achieve. I have done things in the past few months I never would have thought of. College gives you that push out of your comfort zone that can be intimidating, but once you're out there it's amazing.

College definitely changed me, or I just changed in college but I am so glad it happened. I have grown as a person, matured, found some of my true passions and am just a better version of myself. I thank college for that. It wasn't an easy road in the least, I faced many challenges but I overcame them all and learned from them. My first year of college was interesting, to say the least, but I am so grateful for how I changed because of it all.

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10 Ways College Is 100% NOTHING Like High School

Once-a-day showers go to dry shampoo for four days straight.

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As a college freshman well into their second semester, it has officially occurred to me just how different, and often times better, college is compared to its predecessor, high school.

Here are just 10 ways the two could not be MORE different:

1. How you sleep

You'll go from waking up three hours before school to three minutes before class

2. How you hygiene

Once-a-day showers develop into dry shampoo for four days straight.

3. How you eat

Pizza goes from a once-in-a-while treat to an everyday food group.

4. How you socialize

You'll go from being nice to everyone to disliking people for no reason.

5. How much effort you put into your appearance

High school contour was on fleek and now there's somehow mascara on your forehead.

6. How you nap

Naps go from two hours to 10 minutes.

7. How you operate heavy machinery

Driving goes from 10 and 2 with perfectly lined up mirrors to driving with your knees and eating a taco.

8. Your classmates

High school classes are with all of your friends and college classes have strangers in them almost every day.

9. The people teaching you things

High school teachers are scary and mean, while college professors become your friends.

10. Textbooks

High school textbooks are provided where college textbooks need to be bought with another student loan.

Cover Image Credit: Instargram//Madsbythesea

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I'm About To Burst, Laughing At The People Who Thought My Pregnancy Meant I Had To Drop Out Of College

I get stared at in the halls and asked if I am going to drop out. Here are ways being a pregnant student has changed my college experience.

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I have been pregnant the entire time that I have been in graduate school. It was not how I planned to experience grad school, but it has opened my eyes to a whole new perspective and will give me a lovely son (seriously, any second now). There are certain things that I did not realize about being a pregnant student until I experienced it, and maybe my experiences can help better prepare other women, or give them something to relate to since pregnant students are such a rare breed.

As a grad student and a 25-year-old, I am around the average age to have my first child in America. I am not dependent on my parents and the world does not treat me like a child anymore.

However, since I decided to pursue my master's degree, I feel that people are not used to seeing pregnant and student in the same sentence without gasping.

When I first told my father, his first reaction was to ask me if I was to going to drop out.

This became a recurrent reaction from my family and friends (which my boyfriend who is also a student was never asked once). I did not expect the hesitant reactions and it made me feel shameful to be a pregnant student. As my expecting belly grew I always noticed that people on campus would stare at my stomach.

As I walked past, their eyes followed my belly like I had a giant red felt "A" on my chest.

None of my classmates are pregnant and thinking back, I can't remember ever seeing a pregnant woman in all of my five years of college. Since none of my classmates were pregnant, I felt like I had no one to relate to. There are a lot of things that pregnancy effects, besides the baby in the tummy part. I could not go out and get drinks with my classmates and bond with them the way that they were all doing. I could not relate to them fashionably because maternity clothes are heinous. I also feel like pregnancy put up a barrier because I would have a baby eventually and will always be busy, so why bother?

Pregnancy side effects would sometimes take a toll on my school work. In the first trimester, I could barely get out of bed because I was so tired. I could easily have slept 14 hours straight and being a working student did not help. I would seep through some of my classes and had to take the hit to my attendance points. I also have "pregnancy brain." Pregnancy brain is a real thing and is not well known enough. My mind can be so scattered that I forget my friend's names while I am speaking to them. I think it is October when it is March. Pregnancy brain has made me forget that I even go to school or that I work in twenty minutes. I missed due dates or completely misread instructions on assignments. For someone who needs A's on every assignment to function, it hurt because I would never make that mistake otherwise.

There are also benefits to being a pregnant student. I am never hungover and I have never been tempted to ditch a night class for a drinking holiday.

Pregnancy has allowed me to prioritize my school work and ignore the college lifestyle.

Before I knew I was pregnant, I went with my roommates to bars in Chicago's Lincoln Park. I feel so happy knowing getting wasted from $3 shots on a Wednesday is behind me. I now truly have nothing better to do at night than complete my homework.

Another benefit is that you sometimes get special treatment. The special treatment that pregnant women get is awesome. It is my favorite part and sometimes makes me wish I could be pregnant forever. People feel obligated to wait on me hand and foot. If I drop something, people rush to pick it up. It is completely not necessary but I get to feel like a princess for a day (or 280 days). Even though I was singled out for being the only pregnant woman, I was always treated especially nicely by students and professors.

Regardless of my friends and family expecting me to drop out, I am doing phenomenal in grad school. I have received A's in every class and have loved all of my classes. Being a pregnant student can be tough, but it is totally doable. If you find yourself to be a pregnant student, don't feel discouraged. It is not ruining your college experience but allowing you to do college differently.

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