1. Everything That At Once Was So New Becomes, Well, Normal
The first time stepping onto campus is like entering a new world. You’re not used to living in a dorm, sharing a room, and using a communal bathroom. You have no idea where you’re going, where the good places to eat are, and who to spend your time with. Everything about being a college student is unfamiliar; however, these overwhelming aspects of college life become part of your daily routine within weeks. Looking back, I can barely remember a time where I didn’t know Ann Arbor like the back of my hand. Once you settle in, everything becomes normal. However, exploring for the first time is fun! Try everything, go everywhere, and enjoy the ignorance of being a first semester freshman.
2. All Those First Week Strangers Turn Into Friends
That first week of college everyone is wondering the same thing, who are all these people? At home you knew everyone around you, so being a small fish in a big sea of strangers can be stressful. However, friendships are made and within weeks, all the new faces you didn’t recognize become some of your closest friends. Meeting new people and making new friends is one of the best parts of first semester, so never stop introducing yourself. Everyone comes with a different interesting backstory, so get to know as many people as you can. The more friends the better!
3. You Get Used To A New Class Schedule
“I don’t have class till 1pm? That can’t be right.” This was my first thought when going through the first week of classes. Unlike high school, classes don’t start and end at the same time every day. Every person is on a different sporadic schedule. Some students start the day early, others start late, some ending the day after diner time. This takes some getting used to compared to the structure high school provided. However, within time you’ll come to realize that having a class at 6pm is normal. As long as you spend your free time productively, the long breaks between classes are the biggest blessing in disguise.
4. You Talk To Your Parents Frequently.
It’s okay to be scared at first, everyone is. However, that homesick feeling you get when you first kissed your parents goodbye goes away quickly because you talk to them all the time! Your family may be far away, but all it takes is a phone call or FaceTime to bring them right back and catch them up on your new college life. You may be an independent college student now without anyone to control your every move. However, I promise, you will pick up the phone more then you ever thought you would, as talking to my parents becomes one of the best parts of the day.
5. There’s Always Something To Do, And Someone To Do It With.
Just because you’re on your own, doesn’t mean you’re alone! At college, you are always busy. Whether its studying in the library, going on lunch dates, or just hanging out in the dorm, there is always someone to keep you company. There have been very few times throughout the semester where I find myself bored with nothing to do. It’s easy to stay occupied and avoid the loneliness of being far away from home.
6. Many College Stereotypes Are Not True
Do not base college on the few movies you have seen, because, simply put, they are not accurate representations. Unlike the college characters in your favorite shows, students don’t sleep till 12 every day, they aren’t just “barely passing” each class, and they don’t party every single night of the week. People work hard and care about their education. College students are productive, and do not waste every day sleeping in bed. Not every student gains the freshman 15 within a few weeks of arrival, and it's easy to take care of yourself.
7. Time Flies By, So Appreciate Every Moment.
When I close my eyes, it’s still September. However, seeing the snow on the ground, nervous students stressing about their last finals, and an empty campus forces me to accept that first semester has finally come to an end. It was over in the blink of an eye. You are only a first semester freshman once in your life, so don’t forget to step back and enjoy it for all it is. It was one hell of a time.