A Testament To Myself In My Last Week Of Freshman Year

A Testament To Myself In My Last Week Of Freshman Year

I really grew up during my freshman year.

If you had asked me if I was ready to come home from college on August 31st of 2017, I would have said absolutely. However, if you had asked me that same question on September 1st of 2017, not even 24 hours later, I would have happily told you that my mind had forever changed.

Coming to college was a very difficult obstacle for me, as I am sure it is for numerous freshman. I was scared to be leaving my family, my friends, and everything I had become familiar with growing up in the same house, the same school, and with the same people since childhood. The weeks leading up to move-in day were filled with tears, animosity, and fear.

To begin, I was convinced that the University I was attending was not right for me. While everyone else in my life told me that the University of Delaware was the school they thought I was meant to attend, I couldn't help but feel uneasy and lost because in my mind it was far from where I wanted to be. I had a specific image in my head that I should be attending James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. In my mind, I was a Duke, certainly not a Blue Hen.

I struggled a lot with the thought of not being able to attend my first choice college especially having had a particularly rough senior year of high school. After dealing with the death of a friend, a breakup, a friend group split, various mental health issues, and tremendously tough academic year, I felt that this was just the icing on the cake for me.

I felt trapped in a situation that I could not control and with no one around me who truly understood the feelings I had. However, it took me less than 24 hours after arriving on campus to realize that I needed to have an open mind and everything was going to turn out alright for me for the long haul.

I learned many things about myself upon attending the University of Delaware. For starters, I realized that I was, in fact, proud to be a Blue Hen. I realized that college is not about the university you attend, rather about the new friends you encounter, the numerous memories you will make, the opportunities you are given, and the actions you take to change the community around you.

I also learned that there is no better feeling than walking through campus, seeing the livelihood and camaraderie of fellow students, taking in the beauty and realizing the prosperity around you. It is truly amazing to understanding the genuine feeling of being happy in an environment where you though happiness would never exist.

It amazes me to see the new person I have become since attending the University of Delaware. I have grown as an individual, and benefitted from the multitude of opportunities the community around me offers. I have accomplished so many personal goals as well as academic goals that I set for myself in the beginning of the year.

I have found a career path that I am passionate for, I am an active leader in my residence hall, I have excelled academically and made the Dean's List, I am a member of the University of Delaware Swim Club, I have grown and become stronger in my faith, and most importantly I have found pure happiness that I did not foresee leading up to college. I am proud of who I have become, and I hold such pride in my school that I now understand that I do not want to be anywhere else but Delaware.

As the days are dwindling down, I cannot help but find myself reminiscing on the many wonders freshman year has thrown my way. I have overcome, explored, and accomplished many things I never thought possible. I have made countless memories and friendships that I will cherish for a lifetime.

I am surprised to see that I am deeply saddened at the thought of returning home for the summer. While I am more than thrilled to be back with my family and friends at home, I will miss the University of Delaware more than I can possibly explain. I will miss the late nights spent in the library studying for exams, the early morning coffee runs spent with my friends before classes, the constant laughter I have shared with my floor mates, the familial bond I have made with my roommate, and the never ending outpouring of love and adventure that is the University of Delaware.

When I look back on the feelings of uncertainty, fear, and heartbreak that I had after deciding to come to the University of Delaware, I happy and proud to see how much I have grown. It is funny to see how last August I was crying because I didn't want to be at the University of Delaware, and now I am crying because I can't picture myself anywhere else. It is almost scary how fast my freshman year passed by (in my head I am still convinced September was last week), but I am more than excited to take on the next three years as a proud Blue Hen and continue my many adventures at the best place on earth.

Cover Image Credit: Theresa Manganiello

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To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.


As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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25 Things Every USF Student Needs To Know ASAP

Raw, humorous and valuable advice for new or already established students.


Whether you are a brand new college student or you have a couple semesters under your belt, it's easy to get stuck going through the motions without allowing yourself to fully absorb everything that your school has to offer. These 25 students at the University of South Florida share some of their most valuable advice, secrets, and hacks when it comes to getting the most out of your college experience.

Going To The Football Games


"If I could give a first-time student some advice I'd say to take off of work on Saturday and just go to the football games because they'll regret it if they don't." Ciara G.

Finding Opportunities


"Read the Note-a-Bulls emails and flyers you see on campus. Sometimes you find a great scholarship, internship, and recreational opportunities." Abigayle R.

Gaining Friends And Losing Friends


"Remember that some people come into your life for short periods and even though some make your life amazing while others make it awful…they're part of your story!" Ashley J.



"Always put school work as a number one priority. I know I sometimes slacked off and waited until the absolute last minute to do assignments my first year. Not only did that stress me out but that work also ended up not being as good as it could've been. Also, take as many pictures as you can because before you know it college is over." Sydney M.

Sidewalk Etiquette


"If you walk slow, do not walk in the center of the sidewalk." Katie H.

The Squirrels


"The squirrels get aggressive, just be careful." Alex K.

Doing Laundry On Campus


"Always check the USF app to see if the laundry machines are in working order, and if you want your money back call, the app for the company doesn't work well…and keep in mind they'll give you a refund, but they will send a physical check even for something as small as a dollar." Megan M.

When In Florida, Do As The Floridians Do


"Always carry an umbrella because there is a 100% chance that it will rain. Also, buy a rain jacket that can fit over your backpack in order to protect electronics." Sina W.

Dining Dollars and Beer


"You can buy stuff that is not food from the pod with dining dollars and you can buy beer from the Beef O Brady's with dining dollars after 5 p.m." Carlin I.

Finding Parking


"Be prepared to play musical chairs, parking lot version." Negin W.

Taking Alone Time


"Remember to take time for yourself. Whatever that may be, always remember you deserve time for you!" Mary S.

Checking Your Emails Is Important


"Check your email regularly. This is the only way advisors/faculty can communicate with you. Also, set your mail.usf email to forward to your personal email account if you don't want to check more than one email." Cherie D.

Letting Go Of The Past


"Nothing from your past matters, not people or things, so don't dwell on it." Cameron H.

Sitting In Someone Else's Spot


"Respect peoples non-assigned assigned seat. Also, people at USF are friendly so don't be afraid to talk to people and make new friends." Gaby M.

Talking In Class


"Don't be afraid to talk in class. The class will go by so much better and will be less boring if you help the professor out and say something. Also, be sure to go to peer leading because it helps me so much." Brandon W.

Being Friendly To Your Professors And Classmates


"Get to know professors as humans and mentors. Be the student whose smiling face they look for in class when they come in. Don't always dive for the empty table if you see others sitting alone. Maybe they need a friend too." Amanda F.

Being Involved On Campus


"Take advantage of the stuff on campus. Like you pay for it. Do it." Leeland B.

Exercise And Finding Free Food On Campus


"Join a sports team on campus, you'll get your exercise in and make amazing friends! Also, download the Edi-Bull app to find the free food on campus." Megan K.

Being Anti-Social


"Go to USF events and just talk to people. That little voice that tells you 'ah people are scary, I shouldn't interact,' almost everyone has that voice in some sort of way so you already have something in common. Also, come to WOW (Week Of Welcome) and so hi to the PALS (Peer Advisor Leaders)." Ishaat Musrur H.

Not Knowing Your Purpose


"Don't worry about figuring out everything (yourself, your major, your classes, etc) right away. It's okay to be a little unsettled as long as you are working hard along the way." Bonita H.

Sleeping, Eating, And Showing Up To Class


"Set a structured schedule for yourself. Try to get up and go to sleep around the same time every week day-it makes waking up easier and it's healthier for your body! You don't have to live off of fast food. I know it's easier and all around on campus but try making yourself something- you'd be surprised how easy cooking can be. Also, go to class! Even if attendance isn't mandatory, you're paying for every single hour of that lecture. Better not waste it." Hannah W.

Controlling The Music In The Dining Hall


"You can control the music in the dining hall using the Rockbox app." Nicole Y.

Figuring Out Where Your Classes Are


"At least a day before classes start, walk around on campus to find out where they all are and go to your professor's office hours. Especially if it pertains to your grade, but even just for one little question. Get to know your professors." Demi A.

Picking The Best Classes


"Prepare for the next semester! Try and figure out what classes you need for the coming semester ahead of time so you're ready to get them as soon as you can sign up!" Elizabeth S.

Appreciating Your RA's


"Get to know your RA! They're here to help you get acclimated and enjoy your time on campus." Gia R.

The number one thing to remember is to have fun and appreciate each moment because these few years will fly by faster than you think. Go Bulls!

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