My first year of college has been an amazing but humbling experience. Here are some things The University of Georgia has taught me to appreciate that I never did before.

1. Alone time.

I used to feel embarrassed if I had to eat at the dining hall alone. Now, I look forward to eating by myself. In college you're constantly surrounded by people, so you learn to appreciate the alone time when you manage to find it.

2. An empty elevator.

Living on the tenth floor of my dorm, there are fewer things that make me more excited than walking into an empty elevator and going straight to the top, without having to stop on every single floor.

3. A nice day.

In high school you're stuck in one building all day, so the weather doesn't really affect you. But when you have to walk to all of your classes, you start to appreciate a cool sunny day.

4. An empty study space.

During finals, there's not much I wouldn't do for an empty study room. But even finding an empty table at the library is super exciting.

5. When I remember someone's name.

I used to think I was the best at remembering people's names, but meeting so many new people at the same time is overwhelming. It's a miracle if I manage to remember someone's name.

6. An empty seat on the bus during class change.

During class change, the buses get so full that you can't even breathe. My day instantly gets a lot better if I manage to snag an empty seat on a crowded Orbit.

7. Teachers who actually care.

In college, it becomes your responsibility to make sure you succeed in school. But some professors and TAs go the extra mile to help you. I have had professors sit down and go over tests or papers with me. It can be hard to admit that you need help, but professors who make it easier to reach out make it so much easier.

8. A home-cooked meal.

The first month of school, I loved the dining hall. How could someone get tired of unlimited quesadillas, milkshakes, or cereal? But the mass-produced food does get old really fast, and it makes you miss family dinner time.

9. How my parents raised me.

Being thrown into an environment with over 20,000 kids on their own for the first time makes you appreciate parents who raised you to be independent.

10. GroupMe.

GroupMe used to annoy me in high school, and sometimes it still does. But it comes in handy when you need help on homework or if you need a study partner.

11. My school.

I knew coming here that the University of Georgia is an amazing school, but it's hard to TRULY appreciate it until you come here. The beautiful campus, the amazing city, and the spirited people make it great to be a Georgia Bulldog.