Lessons I Learned My First Semester At College

Lessons I Learned My First Semester At College

Mom was right, this is no piece of cake.

As my first semester of college comes to a close and I begin preparing for the Spring, it's really easy to say that a lot has changed since I packed up the family car with the help of my very teary eyed mom and headed away to college for a whole new experience. I knew that college would be a time for me to learn a lot about myself and just a brand new world, but I had no idea about the absolutely amazing effect it would have on me and all of the truly great lessons I'd learn. While the actual list of lessons is probably too long to summarize, here are the very, very important ones worth passing forward that have stuck with me the most.

1. Living on your own is no piece of cake. Neither is living in a dorm, so make the most out of the situation and try to have fun. Get to know people on your floor, you can all help each other out in times of trouble (like, you can teach all the guys to do laundry and they can help you body slam the vending machine).

2. Making the right friends is crucial. I can't stress this enough. I was so afraid that I wouldn't find "my people" and for the first couple of weeks, I was a little skeptical still. But now, I wouldn't trade the friends that I have made for anything.

3. Have fun, but not too much fun. Hey, it's college. You're expected to try new things and to have a good time. Just don't forget the main reason why you are in college, and that's to learn. I know that the Wednesday night party sounds really tempting and you might run into that guy from your Chemistry lab class, but you can also try your best to come home early enough to get the right amount of sleep before that morning class.

4. It is perfectly okay for wanting to go far away from home. When I applied to my top schools, people said I was "nuts" for wanting to go so far away from home. (All of my top choices were out of state, the closest one was five-and-a-half hours away, might I add) But now that I am at the school that was five-and-a-half hours away, I can honestly say that this was the right choice for me. I can still go home when I need to and it gives me that sense of freedom that I was craving in high school.

5. Ladies: you are worth more than "Netflix and Chill"... or a "come over" text, for that matter. If you don't have the guy that doesn't treat you the way you are supposed to be treated, don't stress! You just haven't found him yet!

6. Study, study, study, study. And if that doesn't work, study some more.

7. It's never too early or too late to call home. Your parents miss you, let them know you miss them too, even if it's through a voice mail.

8. Don't waste your time in college. Attend everything you can and get involved in your school. Every football game, tailgate, basketball game, social, go! These are the best four years of your life. Make the most out of them!

9. Those syllabi you get during the first week of classes? They are your bible. Adhere to their rules. Before you email your teacher with a question, read your syllabus (because the answer is probably in there!!).

10. If you're at the right school, you're going to miss it every time you leave. This is just a fact of life. I literally will wake up at home and miss my dorm room, the same room that I really wanted to get out of just five months ago.

At the end of the day, college is an eye opening experience. If you've got the right people to share the experience with and a good study plan, you're set. If not, the good news is: it's only your first semester. Make the changes you need to make to be successful, and most of all, have a great break and rest up!

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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.


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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College Can Be Difficult, But Trust Yourself, Girl

Life can throw you curveballs sometimes, and times can get tough, but it is SO important to pick yourself up and trust that you can do anything.


I'll be honest, this school year was one of the hardest years of my life. There were lots of moments throughout the year that I just wanted to go home and get away from it all. I had to be reminded that I have been raised to try as hard as you possibly can, and I was doing that. It took some determination and time, but I didn't give up.

No matter how bad I felt, I stayed and persevered.

Now that I am home for the summer, I have been reminiscing on the past two semesters of school. At the beginning of the school year, I had a much different idea of how it would go. It was going to be "my year," but somehow while the year was going on, I felt that I had been completely wrong. It's easy to come to quick conclusions when life doesn't exactly go your way. Conclusions like "this year has been the worst year ever" and "I can never get a break" were often popping up in my head. My grades weren't where I wanted them, and I was surprised by a lot of occurrences that I never expected to happen (imagine a wild ride). I found out who my true friends are and who I could rely on, and luckily, my circle only grew. Being extremely extroverted, it was hard for me to get out and just do something. Being in this "rut" took a toll on me. I had to make those hard decisions about doing what was best for me in the long run instead of doing something just for the moment. Trust me when I say, this was NOT easy at all.

Through all the tears and change all around me, I decided to proceed to the finish line because I am NOT a quitter.

I decided that it was time for me to allow myself to fully, undeniably be me. I wanted to start doing the little things I enjoy again like working out, taking pictures, and simply just going out to do anything. I started forcing myself to take any opportunity that came my way, and it helped. One of the things that brought me so much joy was kickboxing – talk about therapeutic, people! Kickboxing at least three times a week helped my mood shift so much, and it was a start to seeing me again. I am so blessed with friends who would come over at, literally, any time of the day. Spending time with them helped me more than they could ever know. We did anything from just hanging out in my living room to splurging on a fun dinner. Through everything that I was doing daily, I was learning how to rely on myself. Looking back now, I have never really had to know what it felt like to rely mainly on myself. I did get so much help from my family and friends, but what good could their help do if I didn't want to help myself first?

Even though I felt like this was one of the worst years of my life, it taught me so much more than I ever expected. Looking back now, I grew so, so much. I learned how to smile when times get tough. I learned that it really is okay to not be okay sometimes, and it will be okay eventually. I learned that it's okay to ask for help because we weren't made to do life alone. Most importantly, I learned how to trust myself. My hope for anyone reading this, you will learn from my experience that the worst seasons get better. I am in such a good place right now because I never gave up, and I will continue to never give up. In a short amount of time, I am seeing how far I have come and how much I grew.

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