It's April And I'm Not Ready For Freshman Year To End

It's April And I'm Not Ready For Freshman Year To End

Can someone please tell me how we are already a third of the way through 2019?

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I guess what they say is true. Time flies fast when you're "having fun", but even faster as you get older. I know I'm only 19, but I can see that with every day that passes.

This past year, I started college and to be completely honest with you, I was not expecting it to go how it did. It was bumpy at many times, and still is (finals season is coming up soon, so you can see why that makes sense). But I wasn't expecting the mental growth that came with the passing of this year. I definitely tried to expand my horizons and reach out, and that didn't always work out, but in some cases, it has and I'm excited to continue on those horizons next semester. Most of the mental growth can be attributed to learning how to study differently, actually having to muster the willpower to attend my classes, and being left 100% responsible for my own well-being. The hard science and math classes I have had to endure are definitely strength-testers, and there have been many times where I've contemplated just giving up (interpret that however you wish- you probably won't be far from the truth no matter how you do). Sure, there are endless resources on campus for me to reach out to if I'm drowning, but no one is really watching over me and so in some instances, that has translated to both some healthy practices and unhealthy practices.

Let's start with the former. Now that I don't have to structure my life based on a pre-determined school day schedule, I can literally do whatever I want, whenever I want. That might seem pretty obvious to most people, but for me, that's a whole new world. Look at it from my point of view. Not only am I an only child, but I also am one of the most ridiculous goodie two shoes; I don't like conflicts with authority, even though I'm quick to snap back when I feel like the situation is wrongly structured. Also, when I say I can do "whatever I want", don't let your mind wander too far. I'm referring to things like going on random walks, walking the trails on campus at Lake Herrick, walking into random practice rooms at the music school to play some simple chords on a baby grand...super nerdy things, I know. I'm also talking about midnight Snellebrations, random trips downtown to the CVS and the Bubble Cafe or to window shop at Native America. But previously (and still sometimes now), I feel like I didn't have the freedom and the independence to do that. Sure, I still feel trapped because I can't do much off-campus since I don't have a way to transport myself that doesn't involve my mom and her cute red Honda Fit that she drives at 30 miles an hour even on the Loop.

For the unhealthy things, also don't let your mind wander too far. I'm already a horribly picky eater when it comes to food, so imagine someone not forcing me to eat three meals a day, like you're supposed to. I've gotten into a horrible habit of just completely skipping meals, sometimes even going the whole day before even eating a snack. It's not that I don't have access to food- it's just that nothing really compels me to keep going. If I'm honest, I only eat to stay awake and not faint, which are more things that are last resorts for a body to signal that it has to eat.

But apart from these minute healthy vs unhealthy lessons I've learned, I've just appreciated not having to consider things beyond this first year. By this time next year, I'll probably be in full-time test prep mode for medical school, and I'll have to be balancing a bunch of extracurriculars on my plate, along with my classes, which will certainly not be easier after this year. I'm just in shock that this semester has gone by so fast, and there are definitely a lot of things that I regret not doing or experiencing. But I still have three years or so to make up for a little of that, so here's to hoping this last month of the semester doesn't fly too fast. I need lots of time to prep for those finals, and even more time to temporarily say goodbye to the good friends I've made on campus.

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Why I Write The Way I Do And How I Got Better

I always wanted to play the piano.

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I always wanted to play the piano. I loved the way it sounded. I loved how people could move their fingers across the keys to create something beautiful for everyone to enjoy.

When I first started writing in middle school, there was always a topic and a rubric you had to follow to make the grades. I would always try to put my spin on it and wrote whatever I saw fit. I took inspiration from movies and books without even noticing it.

When my senior year came around, I was miserable. I wanted to get away from my hometown and everyone in it. I wanted to write myself out of it, so I did. I began a small blog where I just posted candidly about how I was feeling. I didn't care if it got a lot of views- or any at all for that matter. I just wanted a place to compile feelings I couldn't describe and put them into words. It helped me to think about everything and think through it all individually forming it into sentences. I realized, when I stopped focusing on trying to please someone or follow a rubric, my best work came from my own thoughts.

Before heading off to UGA, I started writing on Odyssey. I struggled with finding my brand and what I wanted to write about since this was more than just inspirational posts I wrote when I was bored and needed to sort out my feelings. I tried to write about what was interesting to me. Some I was proud of. Some I wasn't.

But my writing improved when I did. When I finally got my feet wet at school I learned a lot about myself and what I cared about. I didn't want to just fill a word count with meaningless topics. I wanted to write what I wanted to read, what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to share my life with a public audience. I wrote the best about what closest to me- and that was my life itself. I wrote about sorority recruitment and how I felt turning nineteen and how going to UGA flipped my world upside down. I began to write what I casually talked about. I constantly gave advice and filled my mom in on what I was doing, so the words came easy. When you write what you speak, it's simple.

Writing is one of those things that doesn't come with a formula sheet or a test bank. You just have to do it.

You have to think out-loud but instead of saying it, writing it, The grammar and organization will work itself out later, but the thoughts won't always. You have to always write the first thing you think. Use the keyboard as your tongue. It's your way to communicate except with so many more people than your mouth could ever reach.

It's like a puzzle. You have to figure out not just how to arrange what you want to say but place it in the correct spot at the right angle for people to understand the full picture. You have to see the way things fit together, the way the flow. You have to look at what angle captures what you're truly trying to show. You just have to solve it.

The truth is: Everyone has their own style of writing and what works for them. Some people brainstorm list after list of ideas while others wait for a creative kick and are instantly inspired. Some people care more about grammar structure and proper punctuation while others just want their ideas to be read.

I always wanted to write. I loved the way it sounded. I loved how people could move their fingers across the keys to create something beautiful for everyone to enjoy.

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