Reflections on my first year at college

Reflections On My First Year At College

It's been quite a ride...

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Throughout the entirety of my young education career, there was one word looming over everything; college. It seemed as though everything in my life had been leading up to this moment. Even my little sister, who is currently in middle school, is constantly asked about where she wants to go to college and what she wants to major in, and she's literally 13.

College is built up to be this huge, life-changing event, and maybe it is, but it's also not something to be afraid of or daunted by. I was one of those kids who took FOREVER to figure out where they wanted to go to college. Even when I finally decided, I still constantly felt unsure and that if I was wrong, this decision would screw up my entire life.

That is until I stepped onto campus.

Once I was immersed in the campus culture, settled into my dorm, and taking classes that I was actually interested (minus the general education requirements that International Baccalaureate (IB) didn't get me out of), college became just another place, another experience. My dorm became more like my real room, I got to know my classmates and teachers, and got into the routine of the everyday life.

The independence was a nice treat as well, though slightly a double-edged sword. I finally had the chance to set my own schedule and monitor my own comings and goings and make use of every second how I wanted it. But it also gave me the freedom to lounge around with friends, watch Netflix whenever I wanted, and spend time going to different events instead of going to the library to finish that essay.

Still, at the end of the year, I am thankful for every opportunity I took. I am now part of clubs and organizations I truly enjoy (as opposed to doing every club I can to build up my high school resume), I have a job I love, and I have friends for life. Yes, there was drama, as to be expected, but when it was all over, I was a better and wiser person than beforehand. I learned more about relationships than I could learn sitting in a classroom for 8 hours a day, and I explored new places in my new college town.

I learned new information in all sorts of ways. Yes I learned information from my classes about history, math, literature, language, and more, but I also learned how to write a professional email, how to approach your professor for a question or help, how to best understand a topic that doesn't involve staring at the same problem for hours, and how best to improve other habits and skills.

Not every moment in college was a blessing, however. There were nights of crying, weekends of missing home, days of stress about school or relationships, all-nighters pulled and friends lost. Yes, there are things I would go back and change, but there are also many moments I wouldn't.

It will still take me a while to get all my thoughts in order about this experience, but what I can say for now is that yes, I'm excited to go back, but man am I excited for the break summer provides.

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5 Struggles That Coming Home For The Summer Pose

Summer isn't always what you think it's going to be, especially when you're coming home.

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Summer break is amazing in so many ways: you're given countless hours to yourself, no daily stresses concerning school and assignments, and no overbearing pressures to go out every single night. However, coming home (usually) means you're back living with your parents and back to abiding by their rules, despite the fact that for around ten months, you were the only person making the rules in your own home. Despite the perks that come with summer, I have composited 10 reasons why summer can be hard to bear.

1. Having a set curfew.

I find it almost comical that I was able to "run free" for 10 months in Tallahassee with no regard for what time it was, but while at home I get the "it's time to come home" text from my parents as soon as 11 o'clock rolls around. For the entire school year, I was able to stay at friends' places until the sun came up, at walk out of clubs around closing time with no fear of getting punished for staying out too late, but now, I have to constantly plan around my curfew and ensure that I'm home before I get on my parents' bad side.

2. Having to get a summer job.

It was always a rule in my house that jobs were only meant for summer since my parents felt that getting good grades were our primary priority, so now that school's out, I'm working at my local Panera and dog-sitting for my neighbors, even though I absolutely hate dogs. Working isn't the worst thing I've had to do, but when I have to miss beach days and parties for a job that only pays $9 an hour, it sucks!

3. Countless days of boredom. 

College has made me accustomed to being surrounded by other people and activities 24/7. Sure, there were a couple of hours a day for alone time, but the majority of my day was spent hanging out with friends, going to my sorority, going out, and attending class. Now that I'm home and far away from my friends and the social aspect of FSU, I find myself bored and lonely.

4. Less freedom and independence. 

While away at school, I was able to do pretty much anything I wanted without my parents finding out. I was able to go get fast food in the middle of the night, go out to clubs, and sleep at my friends' place whenever I wanted. Sadly, now that I'm home, I can't just leave whenever I want or do whatever I want; I have to tell my parents when I'm going to places, where I'm going, who I'm meeting, and when exactly I'll be home.

5. Having to unpack and sort through your old clothes and the ones you brought to school.

Being the youngest has gifted me with an overabundance of hand-me-downs, everything from prom dresses to shoes to jewelry. However, over the years, the amount of clothes I have accumulated is insane; coming home has forced me to sort through the piles of old clothes and things I don't want anymore in order to make room for the multiple suitcases I brought back from school. My room looks like a tornado swept through it for three weeks now, despite the countless hours I have spent organizing, donating, and folding.

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