Wow. What a whirlwind. I can't believe I'm in the middle of my fifth week at University. It's so completely different than the rest of my life, yet it already feels so normal. It's very strange. And WOW is there a learning curve. It's all amazing, don't get me wrong, but it's a lot different than I expected. So here are a few things I've learned about college and life so far...
Old Habits Die Hard
I thought I'd get up at 6:30, read my Bible, and workout. PSYCH! Mornings are difficult and I don't like getting up. My roommate and I are not morning people. If you happen to be one of the chosen, well-adjusted few, congrats. I am not. Through this conflict with mornings, I've learned that things that you struggle with do not just disappear when you go to college. For some reason, I kind of expected them too. Not sure why. So if you want to change something about yourself, (especially you high school seniors) college is a great time to do so, but start before you come or expect it to be a lot of work. Look, you have to adjust to so much already, don't try to shake yourself up too much. Wait a semester until you actually know what you are doing. Multiple Professors have told me that it takes about a semester to get adjusted and figure everything out, and I would agree with them.
How to get ready in 5 minutes
There've been a few times where I just rolled out of bed and had to go to class. Literally, I was out the door in less than 5 minutes. Now if I was super organized, I'd say lay everything out the night before. I highly recommend you do, but that's not what I mean. I mean I've learned how to roll out of bed, put on joggers and a t-shirt, put some product in my hair, grab my bag and run out the door. It's difficult to manage a new schedule, homework, a social life, and sleep. It takes time to figure everything out, and sometimes things don't go as planned. It's good to be adaptable.
People don't judge you for your appearance.
If you want to look nice and wear makeup (and have time) go for it! People will compliment you. However, it is perfectly acceptable wear t-shirts, sweatpants, tanks, or whatever makes you comfortable. There is a lot less pressure to be something you're not. We are all college students, stuck in the strange but fun transitional stage from awkward teenagers to well-adjusted adults. (if such a thing exists) You don't have to look professional. If you wear sweats and t-shirts or skirts, it's totally fine. People don't care. If they do care, it will likely be to comment on a cool shirt. Just be you and express yourself however you want!
Going home for the first time is strange
I'm a few hours away from home, and the other weekend I went back and saw my family and friends. It was a fantastic weekend, but I felt kind of weird at the same time. Pulling into the driveway, everything just felt strange. It was like I'd been living in another world, and I felt out of place coming back. After I got inside the house and saw my mom, everything felt right again, but it was still very different than I expected. It was wonderful to be back, but also interesting and weird to see how much had changed in just a few weeks. It was difficult to go back to college after the weekend. I didn't cry when my parents took me to college, but when I came back and saw everyone it was different. I felt like I'd been so busy that I hadn't had time to realize what I was missing. When I came back and experienced it all again, I did not want to leave. That's okay. College is wonderful, but it is also difficult at times and you will probably miss your family.
Time is weird
I was told that I would be amazed at all the free time I had on my hands in college. On one hand, yes I have a lot more control over how I spend my time, and if I want to go to Wal-mart at 11 pm on a Wednesday night and buy a Spiderman onesie I can. (and did) But at the same time, I am so incredibly busy and feel like I never have enough time. Time also goes super quickly, but also sort of slow. It's just weird. I have more control, but it all just seems to by.
You and your roommate with disagree no matter how well you get along
My amazing roommate Jenna and I literally love almost all the same things and have multiple classes together. It's a fantastic situation. And you know what? We still disagree with each other and get on each other's nerves. Especially if you've never shared a room with siblings, it's going to be a big adjustment. However, it is also a huge blessing. To succeed, Communicate your needs and schedule, apologize when you mess up, and appreciate how you are both unique.
There are tough days
I don't care who you are. You will have difficult days and be stressed out. I've never struggled with academics, but there have still been days when I wonder if I can succeed in college. If you ever feel this way about college or life, it is okay. And also, you can do it. I put a lot of pressure on myself, and can get really stressed out. The other day, I had a stressful morning, was thinking about a lot, and couldn't get my car to start after pumping gas. I panicked. Thankfully, my parents helped me figure it out, but there are moments that feel like that: moments when you just get completely overwhelmed. Take a deep breath, take care of yourself and take it one moment at a time.
You cannot do everything
And that is ok. There is a limit to what you can accomplish. I have booked myself so much this semester with things that I love, like theatre, film, dance, and choir, but it can be overwhelming. I had to turn down several opportunities that I really wanted to be a part of, because I realized that I simply could not add them to my schedule. That's an important lesson, though I probably still am attempting to do too much. Anyways, It's difficult to balance doing things you love and what you can actually accomplish. Don't burn yourself out.
Life is difficult and challenging, especially in college, but it is also fun and enjoyable. It's been great so far, and I can't wait to see what happens next. Hopefully, it's a refreshing nap.