The Reality Is, Your Freshman Year Of College Will Be Insanely Hard

The Reality Is, Your Freshman Year Of College Will Be Insanely Hard

Yet you'll have the most incredible time.

Parties, new friendships, pursuing your dreams, doesn't it sound fantastic? Especially if you attend what everyone considers to be a "top-tier" university, there is absolutely nothing that could be wrong in your life. Putting that stigma around freshman year of college is exactly what's wrong with this whole thing. You spend all of high school thinking that if you can just make it to college, all of your problems will vanish.

Well, I'm here to tell you that that is completely and utterly false.

Freshman year has been the most challenging and exhausting time of my life.

You don't listen when they tell you that college is hard. You brush it off thinking you can handle it. I mean, you got an incredible GPA and ACT score, so obviously, these people are just inferior to you. These are some of the thoughts I had coming to TCU.

Just a few weeks in, God began to wreck my life in ways I never thought possible. I was failing Biology and Chemistry within the second week of school and my dreams of being a dentist were slipping through my fingers. You come to college with this idea of what you want to do with your life and it just gets completely flipped upside down.

The harsh reality of college is that you probably won't end up majoring in what you came to college with. I cannot even begin to explain the number of people that told me that being a Biology major was insanely hard. I thought I was above everybody when I came in. I got knocked down a few pegs very quickly when I received a 4% on my first Chemistry quiz. Yes, you read that right. 4%.

Yet, I was so focused on my failure in science that I didn't realize I was excelling in my Communications class. As the semester continued, I realized that science was not getting any easier and ended up dropping Chemistry and Biology. Saying goodbye to my childhood dream of dentistry was tough but now I can happily say that I am a Communications major and Journalism minor with absolutely no regrets. I am so much happier now, knowing that I will be taking classes that I love and excel in.

Fortunately, they are right when they say you will meet your best friends in college. I have been surrounded by so much love and support over these past few months as I've dealt with changing my major a few times and failing/dropping my science classes. The people that tell you college is hard, they are right.

Although, the people that tell you college will be the best years of your life, yeah, they're right too.

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To My Future Students, This I Promise You

There is no fear when you choose love.

I write this with a heavy heart. A heart that cannot even put into words the grief and sorrow that I am feeling for those that have lost their loved ones just because they attended school one day. It absolutely breaks me that one cannot go teach the next generation or get an education without having to fear for their lives. As a future educator, I know that I could easily give up on pursuing education so that I won't have to hug my loved ones extra tight before driving to school each day. But that is not what's going to happen. I am not going to give up on my students and the education that each of them deserve. I am not going to be scared and constantly worry. So for my future students, this one's for you.

What you will learn in my classroom will not just be about academics. You will learn social and emotional skills. You will learn what it's like to talk to others about how you are feeling and be fully aware of how much those around you care. I am not going to let you forget just how valuable each of you are. I know that social skills in the classroom will help each of you become better in tune with your mental health, so why not start on the elementary level. I know that right now, you are children. But one day, you will be old enough to purchase a gun or let your mental health take a toll on you. As you grow up, you will start to notice how hard life is, and how sometimes it can feel like fighting is not worth it. But you are loved and you are not alone. That is what I want to teach you, above anything else.

I know that I am not Superwoman. There is absolutely no way for me to prevent school shootings from happening. But I will fight for each and every one of you. I will give every piece of me and do what I can to keep you safe, smiling, and healthy. I am aware that I am one person and that I do not have all the answers. But earning your trust and getting to know every single one of you will be my very greatest goal.

You all are in my prayers already. Even thought I am still two years away from receiving my license to teach, I am already praying for protection and love for each student that enters my future classrooms. I do not want to imagine trying to hide a large number of you in a closet. But if something ever happens, I will be as prepared as one can be. Your young lives come before mine, no matter what.

I am thrilled to teach you about life and the world around you one day. You have no idea how passionate I am about my future career. News reports are not going to change that. I am praying for a change and looking towards hope for the future. But no matter what, I promise that I will not give up on you guys.

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Why I Chose To Not Graduate Early

I needed more time in college to develop my skills through internships, learn more about my future profession, and explore what I want to do after graduation.

As the first semester of my junior year was underway and the time to schedule for spring semester came close, I decided to look at what remaining requirements I needed for my major and minor. I was shocked to find out that I was nearly done with all the requirements. I would be done with my major and minor after spring semester and would just need to take a couple of classes during the May semester to get my degree and graduate. While it would be great to graduate early and save money, something made me pause. I didn't feel ready to graduate. Not when it felt like I've barely completed college.

My original plan after figuring out whether to graduate early or find a way to meaningfully fill up my remaining year was to add a second minor. Even then, I would still be placed at graduating a semester early; while at first, I thought this might be a good idea, I started having second thoughts. What would I do with my apartment lease if I had to move somewhere else for a job? Was it really worth it to graduate at an "awkward" time? After much debate and stress, I decided to stay for a full fourth-year and add a second degree.

Some people would jump at the opportunity to graduate early; no classes, no tuition, total freedom into adulthood. I, however, didn't feel ready. Going to college has definitely helped me to grow up and learn about what life on my own would be like, I couldn't imagine graduating a whole year early and entering the workforce. I couldn't imagine trying to find a job with little experience and no clear-cut vision on my career path. Graduating early wouldn't have helped me, even if it did mean saving money; it just wasn't' the right choice for me. I needed more time in college to develop my skills through internships, learn more about my future profession, and explore what I want to do after graduation.

Adding a second major rather than graduating early is not something I regret at all. I chose to add my double major in journalism since I really enjoy writing. So far, I am enjoying all my courses and learning more about a field that ties closely with my other major, centered around public relations. Adding a second major has opened my eyes to more career paths I can take after graduation and makes me think that I may be interested in involving journalism to my post-grad life. While my decision to not graduate early might cost money, the experiences I'll gain will help to repay that debt and make it worth it.

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