It was only a year ago when I walked around a college campus for the first time in my life. Like most incoming college freshmen, I felt nervous but excited at the same time. Before my first day as a student at UWG, I had developed a preconceived idea of what it really meant to go to college. "Time to party all night long, meet some awesome new people, and stress myself out to the point of unbearable exhaustion with loads of classwork all at once!"
I thought to myself. Little did I know that my first year of college would be more than just studying, partying, and never getting laundry done. I can confidently say that my freshman year contained an almost insane amount of new experiences, even some that proved to be life-changing. With that being said, I've complied a list of what to expect during your first year of life as a college student.
1. Each day will be filled with surprises.
Every day during my freshman year, I always managed to do something that I had never done before. I met at least one person every day, I overcame many challenges, and I even found myself in situations that I thought could only happen in the movies. Sometimes I would have nothing planned on a particular day, and by the end of it I would be running through a field with friends, dancing on a broken pool table, or even stuck in a different state. It will be overwhelming at times, but it will always be rewarding.
2. Your professors won't intimidate you.
I've yet to have a class with a professor that isn't caring, helpful, or inspirational. Every one of my professors have shown compassion and kindness towards me, and any time I needed help, they were just an email or office hour away. For example, I was very unsure about my English professor at the beginning of the semester, but by the end, her kind attitude and dedication towards her profession had convinced me to minor in English. Of course you may unluckily end up with a bad egg, but if you work hard and communicate with your professors, your classes won't be (too) stressful.
3. There will plenty of good days, as well as plenty of bad ones.
Freshman year was full of happiness, confidence, laughs and adventure, as well as heartbreak, betrayal, and stress. You will sometimes feel like that you're an unstoppable force that can't be broken down, and other times you will feel like the world is against you. The truth is the bad times will never stop, but neither will the good ones. They will always balance out like yin and yang, and even when you feel like giving up, you will always persevere.
4. It's (almost) impossible to not make friends in college.
In high school, I struggled with crippling anxiety, and it greatly affected my social life. I had close to zero friends most of my time before graduation. That all changed when I arrived at college. I found myself making more friends than I ever had before, just by going to class and joining study groups and organizations on campus. Unless you don't get involved at school and you never leave your dorm room, you will befriend the greatest and most influential people in your life.
5. Dorms are not as bad as you think.
Sure, dorms can be obnoxious, but they aren't intolerable. Your neighbors will throw parties in the room above you on a Tuesday night when you have an exam early the next morning and nothing will be done about it. You will get into little passive-aggressive arguments with your roommate. But it's not the end of the world. Trust me, your dorm will basically only be used for sleeping and Netflix-binging (unless you prefer to study in your room too). During my time as a freshman, I would only visit my room once a day (besides sleeping at night) to drop off books and change clothing. Your year will go by quicker than you thing, and after it's done you will find yourself missing your dorm as you close the door for the last time. My advice to you is to make the most of it for as long as you're living there.
6. You will learn more than you've ever had before, especially outside the lecture hall.
If you ask me what I learned in my classes, I will probably stare at you like a deer in a headlight for a couple of awkward seconds before giving you a "Well, I learned that College Algebra is not my best subject" response. But if you ask me about what I learned outside the classroom, I could give you an entire speech that will have you asleep after twenty minutes. In all seriousness, the experiences of my freshman year taught me a lot about my life, my inner being, the world and how vast it really is. I now know that I don't really know anything, and I have a lot more learning to do.
Of course your freshman year won't be the same as mine, but you can expect the upcoming year to be the greatest, most hectic and rewarding one yet. Congratulations to the class of 2022 for all of your accomplishments, and good luck as you begin a brand new chapter in your life!