Starting a new school is never easy. It's full of awkward transitions, new faces, and getting used to a new routine. Starting at a university is especially taxing on the mind and body.
You don't know anyone, you spend A LOT of time being sick because you're under new stress, you're not sleeping enough, and sometimes the AC units need to be replaced before you start to feel a bit better (true story).
I've learned a lot in my first semester at ECU. I've learned that friends aren't hard to make if you're outgoing (which I am not). I've learned that professors who wait until the last minute to put in grades are busy, but also enjoy watching us all frantically try to calculate them on our own. I have also come to appreciate the luxury of having your own washer and dryer because sharing with 400 other people is not fun.
In my first few months on my own, I've also learned a lot about myself. I function better on three hours of sleep than I do on six, I forget to eat way too often, and I like having someone to talk to at 3 am when I can't sleep (thank you, roomie). I've also grown to appreciate the time I spend with my family. Whether it's watching a sad movie with my mom or eating snacks with my best friend, it's time I cherish because it doesn't get to happen as often now that I'm away.
Honestly, my first semester went better than I expected. I met so many new people, became close with people I never would've imagined, and experienced things I never had in my time back home. I also never expected to miss being on campus, but in my time home, I find myself missing the people I've grown to love and the things we'd do to pass time when we're at school.
Don't get me wrong, my first semester was full of struggles, from staying up all night to help others with projects they didn't want to do, to trying to make it through rough patches on my own, to figuring out how to balance my life back home to my new life in my new home. I've spent countless hours debating with myself on whether or not I chose to do the right thing with graduating a year early and going straight to school, but when I think about it, if I decided to stay home, I wouldn't know any of the amazing people I know now.
I wouldn't have met my amazing roommate who talks to me about literally anything. I wouldn't have met the person from up north whose accent is starting to rub off on me. I wouldn't be as close to my best friend. And I definitely would not be as happy as I am right now.
Being at a university has helped me grow so much in such a short time, and I am forever grateful for the lessons I've learned, both inside and out of the classroom. Here's to a great first semester and hoping the rest are equally as amazing.