What I Learned My First Semester Of College
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What I Learned My First Semester Of College

Not all learning is done in a lecture hall.

What I Learned My First Semester Of College
Louisiana State University

In a word, my first semester of college was unrelenting. Not because classes were hard, not because I became a creature of the night while I was studying, but because there were many lessons I learned that a professor just can’t teach. I strolled on to the campus of Louisiana State University thinking I was basically invincible and that I didn’t need any help with the whole “college thing.” After my family moved me in, I was so quick to shoo them away and wanted to be on my own. I thought I wanted to be completely independent and I had been on campus for no more than, what, two hours? When it came time to do my first load of laundry, it hit me – I was an adult now. Up until this point, my grandma had done every single load of laundry for me ever. Is this what it meant to adult? It didn’t stop there. When I realized I was missing my grandma’s 70th birthday celebration, all I wanted to do was drive home, but I was sixteen hours away. Not long after, my sister lost her first tooth, once again, I wasn’t there. I realized how many things I was missing. This brings me to lesson number one: your family is much more valuable than you think. Value every moment, relish every minute, even the ones where your mom is nagging you to clean your room.

Lesson number two: asking for help is okay. I feel like whenever people begin college they think that asking for help is going to make them seem weak, or like they don’t know what they’re doing. Well, news flash: YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING. Nobody does, that’s normal. First semester freshman year is like getting on a mechanical bull and seeing how long you can stay on. You’re going to try and do so many things that you don’t know how to do by yourself and eventually wear yourself out. Also, college is a time of emotional instability and no one can deal with that alone. You’re away from your family, you’re somewhere slightly unfamiliar, and it’s tough. Know when to ask for assistance, and know that there’s no shame in it. Friends help a great deal during tough times, which brings me to lesson number three: make new friends, but keep the old.

Let me begin by saying what I learned from my college friends. I never thought I could grow so close to a group of people in the small amount of time that I did. The people I’ve met so far have been some of the most amazing souls I’ve had the pleasure of crossing paths with thus far in my eighteen years of living. The kindness, love and support that they have shown me in 4 short months has been immeasurable and I can’t thank them enough. That being said, don’t forget about your friends back home. Keeping a strong relationship with my hometown friends kept me grounded and made being away from home a lot more bearable.

Lastly, I cannot emphasize this enough, be mindful of your spending! There have been many mornings where I have woken up with less than a dollar in my bank account. Don’t be that person. If you have a meal plan, USE IT. That’s a huge money saver because you don’t have to spend it on food. You will spend way more than you’re used to when you’re in college and money will just be spent that you don’t even realize you’re spending.

I am grateful for the good times as well as the hardships I’ve experienced while being away from home. All in all, I’ve learned more than I anticipated during this first semester and it stuns me that it’s already over. Be aware, and keep your mind open to the lessons life has to teach you – not all learning is done in a lecture hall.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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