I've been asked by so many people what my first year of college has been like. Although this article comes a little late, I thought it would be a good idea to write about it.
So how would I describe freshman year? Fun? Exciting? Stressful? Harrying? I don't quite know how exactly to describe it. I hate to be cliché, but it had its ups and downs. It was certainly a good experience. I had terrific classes and professors, made really good friends, and I joined Cru, an collegiate evangelism club whose members helped me to grow in my faith in Jesus Christ. I became a member of a small group; we have poured into each other and helped each other to grow spiritually. I learned so much from them.
As one of Charleston Southern's few history majors, I am happy to say that the faculty of the History and Political Science Department is wonderful. In addition to having well-constructed classes that cover quality material, they are some of Charleston Southern's most accessible professors. They are always ready to answer questions, even if said questions are not related to the classes you are taking with them. The extra credit history movie nights are interesting, and the professors also host a "History Roundtable" in which anyone who desires can drop in to discuss or debate anything from ancient history to contemporary politics. To date, I've been to every roundtable discussion since starting at the university. We are now creating a history club which will take over the roundtables (yes, I'm totally advertising...it's my article, I can do what I want!).
I have taken four history and political science classes: World Civilization I, American National Government, American History I, and Europe Since 1914. They were great classes and my professors taught me so much. Next semester, I will be taking World Civilization III and Ancient Greece and Rome.
As a minor in Christian Studies, I must hand it to the Christian Studies faculty. They have taught me so much about the Bible and I cannot wait to take more of their classes in the upcoming semester.
Normally, I wouldn't discuss my core classes, but I loved my public speaking class; it was a great, supportive network of classmates and the professor was phenomenal. I miss that class. My English classes had that support structure too, good classmates, good professors.
All in all, I'd say it was a pretty successful year, but doesn't mean at times it wasn't stressful. Many times, I felt overburdened by the workload: two papers and a test one week, a slight lull, then three tests and two more papers another week. I have to admit, my first semester caught me completely off guard. I was not at all prepared to juggle assignments the way I had to. Work on this paper now, study the test in an hour, homework assignment due the same time as the paper, oh, forgot about the other homework assignment!!!
Then there's the issue of making new friends and maintaining relationships with old, grade-school ones. To be perfectly honest, I haven't been entirely skilled at that last part. some of my old friends and I have kind of drifted apart, even some that I was close with. Making new friends...let's just say it's a good thing people I know go to Charleston Southern. I make new friends occasionally, but it's definitely something I struggle with. If I talk with someone, I'm usually a one-on-one kind of guy, with a few exceptions, but even then, I tend to enjoy "alone time" more. Silence helps me contemplate the world around, which I do quite often (don't judge, even if it does sound cheesy...I'm a history major, for Pete's sake, we're instructed to contemplate the world around us!).
Nonetheless, I have enjoyed freshman year. It was a great experience, and I do have wonderful friends that I can call up and talk to when need be. I love you guys! Thank you for everything! For all of my former freshman friends, here's to a restful summer vacation and an even better sophomore year! To all the graduates among my friends, congratulations! To the new upperclassmen, you're almost there, keep going! Gosh, it has been a good time. I can't wait to see what God has in store for all of us!