10 Things I Learned During My First Semester Of College

10 Things I Learned During My First Semester Of College

Being one thousand miles away from home gives you such an appreciation for home cooking.
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One thousand miles is further than it seems.

1. I should go out even if I feel like staying in.

One of the best things you can do for yourself during the first semester of college is pushing yourself to go out and meet new people. Putting myself out there was how I met some of my closest friends.

2. Getting up before 8 a.m. is the struggle.

I’m not sure how I woke up at 6:30 a.m. during high school, I just know I can’t do it ever again.

3. I miss home cooking more than I ever thought I would.

The dining hall food here at school is a two-star dining experience if I’m being generous. Laying in my own bed and smelling dinner cooking in the kitchen or grilling ribs and eating with my family on the porch… those were the days.

4. Going to bed before 12 a.m. just does not happen.

I used to go to sleep early, then I started college.

5. I miss home more than I thought I would.

I miss having a car and being able to navigate the backroads without a second thought. I miss my favorite coffee shop and knowing my community. Living a thousand miles away means starting a new life in a brand new place which is fun and exciting, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss home some days.

6. Not having a dog sucks.

Having a fur ball to sit next to me as I study for hours and type papers would be nice.

7. With freedom comes responsibility.

Do I have the freedom to stay up until 3 a.m. eating pizza and ice cream? Yes. Should I do that? Probably not.

8. FaceTime is the key to keeping in touch.

There’s nothing better than seeing and hearing someone you miss, even if it’s a phone.

9. It’s easy to overspend.

Going from working through high school and have some type of a weekly income to making no money at all means an extreme switch in spending habits. Not to mention paying for textbooks, class supplies, plane tickets etc. Learning how to budget like an adult is a struggle.

10. Time flies.

My first semester has been a whirlwind of new friends, adjusting to dorm life and struggling through my first college classes. It really has flown by, and I’m learning to appreciate every special moment and hold onto every memory.

Cover Image Credit: Grace Jicha Photography

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To The Girl Who Isn't Graduating On Time, It Won't Feel Any Less Amazing When You Do

Graduating is something to be proud of no matter how long it takes you.

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To the girl who isn't graduating college "on time,"

I promise, you will get there eventually, and you will walk across that graduation stage with the biggest smile on your face.

You may have a different journey than the people you grew up with, and that is OKAY. You may have some twists and turns along the way, a few too many major changes, a life change, you may have taken most of a semester off to try to figure your life out, and you're doing the best you can.

Your family and your friends don't think less of you or your accomplishments, they are proud of your determination to get your degree.

They are proud of the woman you are becoming. They don't think of you as a failure or as someone any less awesome than you are. You're getting your degree, you're making moves towards your dreams and the life that you have always wanted, so please stop beating yourself up while you see people graduating college on time and getting a job or buying a car.

Your time will come, you just keep doing what you need to do in order to get on that graduation stage.

Your path is set out for you, and you will get there with time but also with patience. The place you're at right now is where you are supposed to be. You are going to thrive and you are going to be the best version of you when you graduate and start looking for a company that you will be proud to work for. Don't look on social media and feel less than, because at least you're still working towards your degree that you are finally passionate about. You will be prepared. You will be ready once the time comes and you cross the stage, move away, and start your journey in whatever field you're going into.

Don't question yourself, and be confident in your abilities.

With love,

A girl who isn't graduating on time

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Goodbye School, Hello Real World

I'm ready for ya!

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It's starting to hit me.

I've been in school, year after year, since kindergarten. Maybe even pre-school!

Now, I'm about to graduate with my bachelors in communication and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I'll say it. I often sugarcoat it or suppress it but d*mn it. I'm going to applaud myself. It was hard work. It took a lot of motivation, determination, (caffeine), and willpower to get to where I am today. I worked my ass off.

That being said, I can't help but think... What is life without due dates? What is life like without scrambling to turn in an assignment that's due at 11:59 PM? What is life like with actual sleep? Sleep? I don't know her.

Like I keep telling my boyfriend and my parents, I don't have it all figured out. At least not right now. But I will, and I'm in no rush to land my dream job right now. If anything, I want to take a year to myself. I want to travel. I want to sleep in if I d*mn well please! I want to read as many books as I want. I want to write till my fingers fall off (OK, maybe not that).

You get the jist.

I'm free. I can do and be whatever I want. And you know what? That's terrifying.

I'm lost. I've followed this structure for so long. Now what?

I don't have all the answers yet. But for now, at least right at this very moment, I'm so thankful to have been able to receive such an amazing education. And to be able to say I'm graduating with my bachelors in communication at 21 is an accomplishment in itself.

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