Thoughts From A Second Semester Freshman

Thoughts From A Second Semester Freshman

More than halfway through my first year of college, here are a few things that I've learned.
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As a second semester freshman, I guess I can finally start saying that I’m “acclimated” to the college lifestyle. And I’m not just talking about ordering Domino’s at 1 a.m. and getting dangerously close to majoring in coffee consumption.

No, I’m talking about what it’s like to be living in a brand new city with a bunch of new people: and juggling a workload that’s a bit more advanced than anything I’ve ever experienced before.

These past few months, I’ve learned a lot — not just about myself, but my work ethic. Studying in college is vastly different from studying in high school: and this is something that I had to learn the hard way by practically living out of the library. But in the end, it really paid off.

Another big change for me was having so much free time when I got to college. For me, high school was all about structure: sitting at a desk and having back to back class for six hours straight. With the loose schedule I have now, a lot of the pressure to get things done has lessened, and I find it easier to get all my work done on time.

But having all this spare time definitely opens up the way for distraction. Some of the things that I’ve learned? Apparently, binge-watching "Law and Order" does not help you study for American Government: no matter how much you wished it did.

One of the things that brought me the most stress last semester were my grades. Countless times, I’ve heard that "you get out of college what you put into it," and if you work for it, then you’ll get an A. But another thing that I learned is that isn’t necessarily true.

Professors are here to teach you how to think on your own, and rely on your own strengths to solve problems. And sometimes, you’ll work your ass off just to get a B. And that sucks. But sometimes, a hard-earned B is better than an A that you got by cutting corners.

On a lighter note, college is a great place to meet new people. I’m only one semester in, and I already know that some of these people that I’ve met are going to be my friends for life. College is full of awesome people and experiences. So my advice to anyone who is reading this: this is the time to make mistakes. College is about finding yourself, and if you can achieve this through trial and error, then go for it.

Don’t like your major? Change your mind. And then change it again. For the first time in our young adult lives, we have the power to decide what we want to do. So take every opportunity you can to find out what you’re passionate about, and run with it.

Cover Image Credit: The University of Scranton

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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
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“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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10 Special Places In Your Hometown You Can't Wait To Revisit When The Semester Is Over

I can't wait to go home!

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Everyone has their favorite local spots that they love in their hometown. These could be famous staples that everyone knows about, or your little getaway when life was hitting you hard growing up. Since being away from home I never understood how important they were to me until I wasn't there. It doesn't matter if you live in Maine or California, everyone has their spot or multiple spots.

Here is a list of 10 places that you will stop at once you get home.

1. Your Favorite Local Restaurant(s)

This restaurant or restaurants always come through whenever you want to eat your favorite food(s). It always made everything to perfection, and nearly every person knows your name in there.

2. Coffee Shop

The place that you always can meet your friends, or a quite place to get work done.

3. High School 

Going back to your local high school is always a positive walk down memory lane to see all your old teachers, and people that affected your life for the better.

4. Friends' Houses 

So many memories are there, and it's always so refreshing to see their faces and talk to people that you have grown up with.

5. Nature Spots 

You know those places that whenever you get to them can make you so much happier and more relaxed? That's what I'm talking about.

6. Walking Around Your Neighborhood 

Walking around your neighborhood is always fun, and you get to see a bunch of familiar faces.

7. Your Bed 

Because what's better than that...

8. Your Local Church 

It is always nice to see your youth group and elders whenever you come back.

9. Grandparents' House

You know when you are going over something good is always waiting behind the door.

10. Top Of A Parking Garage 

The ultimate best view to watch fireworks, sunsets, and sun rises.

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