What I Learned After My First Semester In College

What I Learned After My First Semester In College

Here are some of my experiences in my first semester of college.
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Attending college was something I only imagined about for so long in what seemed like the endless years of high school. All of the sudden I have finished my first semester. Here is a list of what I learned while attending my first year at Washington and Jefferson College.

1. People are genuinely nice (yes, really.)

I was so used to the egotistical and narcissistic attitudes of my peers in high school that I was shocked the very first time someone bumped into me and apologized in a meaningful nice manner, or when someone held the door open for me when I was practically ten feet away. The level of polite behavior from people was not something I was expecting to receive, but the maturity that comes along with being in college is something I don't mind getting used to.

2. Fraternity and Sorority members aren't bad.

I always believed the hype that frat boys and sorority sisters were just wild, out-of-control people who just liked to party, be promiscuous, and skip class. I've come to realize that the stereotype doesn't even apply to half of these people that I've come to know. I've met so many intelligent and inspirational members of the Greek life community. I can't speak for all colleges, but W&J's Greek members are actually great people who work hard...even if they do throw an occasional rager or two.

3.The freshman 15 is real.

It's very easy to gain weight when you have control over everything you eat and drink with endless options of greasy yet delicious food and not to mention the free food on Friday's. This can be avoided by picking the healthy options that are also offered, but let's be real, how many people actually want to pick a salad over some popcorn chicken and waffle fries?!

4. You really can do whatever you want.

In high school, skipping class meant a day where you'd have to go in then next day and pick up whatever homework you missed. In college, some professors even allow a number of skip days. There's no need to worry about missing homework because your assignment is probably on the syllabus.

5. Take time away from studying.

I've come to learn that spending a long number of hours in my room has driven me stir-crazy from time to time. It important to take time away to spend with friends. Go for a walk, go watch a movie, or even just hang out. It's healthy to have some human interaction and give yourself a little break.

6. Beating yourself up over a bad grade isn't worth it.

I've learned that it's perfectly okay to not get a perfect A on every test, but it's not okay to not put forth effort. As long as you are trying your absolute best and passing, then don't be too harsh on yourself if you don't receive the grade you were hoping for. And if anything else just remember at the end of the day that C's get degrees ;)

7. Don't rush into a relationship.

Unlike high school, it's not expected that a lot of people will be in relationships especially in the 2016 era of college students where being independent without needing anybody is the new trend. It's okay to go on a date worth somebody, but don't feel like you have to be committed to that person if you're not really into them. After all, you have the rest of your life not just college to find a significant other- if you actually want one!

8. Embrace new experiences!

I was absolutely terrified when I arrived at college. I didn't leave my dorm room for anything after the first couple of weeks. Eventually I realized that there's nothing to be afraid of. Go ahead and try out the gym if you want or karaoke night on Friday night. Even go to a frat party just to get the experience if you're not too keen on partying; you won't have to drink or do anything you're not comfortable with. Try new things and don't be afraid because you might meet your very best friends from all of the chance encounters that you've taken on.

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

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To Those Who Feel The Need To Tear Down Others, Take A Seat

You have no right to hurt others because you don’t agree with them.

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I recently wrote a super controversial article, which I'm honestly very proud of. In the comment section, there were plenty of people criticizing me because of what I believe in, mainly because they didn't believe in the same thing as I put out there.

I would just like everyone to know that the people that write for this amazing company are just that — people. They are real, they have opinions, and they have feelings. There is nothing different about them than you. Would you like someone commenting hate on your Facebook post or anything like that? No, no you wouldn't. When you comment rude things on something that someone worked long and hard on, you are just being rude and inconsiderate of their feelings.

If you just go to the comments to leave a rude comment, you can write it down on a piece of paper and throw it away. You're being a bully. These writers more than likely will go to the comment section, just like I did, and will be hurt by your arrogant, inappropriate comments.

Ever heard of if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all.

If you don't agree with me that's fine, but that doesn't give you the right to deliberately go and try and tear me or anyone else down. You're just being rude and you have no reason to be, all I did was write an article on something I believe in.

Also, don't let anyone rude enough to do this tear you down or diminish your self-worth. There are people out there who are still kind and caring, don't listen to the negativity this world brings. Just keep doing what makes you happy, because in the end, that's all that really matters.

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