True Life: Your First Semester of College

True Life: Your First Semester of College

A preview for high school seniors
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For all the high school seniors out there wondering what your first semester of college is like and how different it is from high school, I will tell you a few things:

1. Expect the worst, prepare for the best

This was a lesson I learned the hard way within the first few weeks of school. I thought syllabus week was a preview of how my next four years would be and it seemed pretty awesome. I could go out as much as I want and had no worries. Boy, was I wrong. PSA: syllabus week is not how the rest of the semester is going to be like! After starting my semester with a few poor grades due to my lack of concern and simply enjoying my first taste of freedom a bit too much, I changed my habits. I started to write my notes days in advance and taught myself the material prior to my lectures and studying at LEAST a week and a half in advance for a test to make sure I thoroughly understood the material. This has by no means made me an A+ student but it as helped me tremendously in reach my goals for this first semester. So my advice to any high school seniors, do not underestimate your first semester of college classes. They can be a lot harder that they first seem. Especially you, science majors.

2. Focus on you

I have always been the person who has cared way too much about what others thought of me and would go above and beyond to make sure those around me were happy even if I lost a little bit of myself in the process. College has taught me that I need to let go of what others may think because the only opinion that matters is God's and my own. Not everyone in this world is going to like you for whatever reason they may see fit, but that is life. No one in this world is alike therefore not everyone is compatible. But when you focus on being your own person and making yourself happy, you find those who love you for you and enter your life to help you grow and flourish and be the best version of you. So let go of the negativity that may surround you and focus on what you think of yourself and how you can be the best version of yourself.

3. The Freshman 15 is real

No matter how much we all may deny it, the freshman 15 is a real thing. I have been lucky enough to be thoroughly enjoying having a gym that's only a minute walk away which helps keep the pounds off. However, if not for the gym I already know those late night Linda's quesadilla runs and bacon, egg, & cheeses would have caught up by now. Do NOT live in denial. The salad bar in Linda's is bomb, nothing can beat 63's fruit buffet, and at the right time of the day, the gym is half empty for you to get a good workout in. Not to mention the Zumba and body blast classes are a great time with some good friends and a lot of energy. Use the awesome options SHU gives you or you could greatly regret it, trust me. Now I just have to make sure I keep up the good habits so I don't get the Freshman 30 Spring semester.

4. Home & Family x2

This was probably one of the oddest changes for me. Your hometown will always be your home, but you are now only there for a little over 4 months out of the year. You now have a new home, your college. And it's weird because it's your school, home, and life. It's not high school anymore where you wake up, get dressed, go to school, come home and are free to do whatever you want. At your new home, you eat, sleep, work out, do laundry, go to school, hang out, party, and do everything in between. Now you have two homes and two families. The friends you make and the people you meet at school become your second family. I swear half of my friends have supplemented as a second mom for me most of the semester. And if you join greek life you gain a bunch of new siblings, over 100 approximately. It took some adjusting at first, but I am now so thankful to call SHU my second home complete with a second family and all the amenities to give me the tools to become the young woman I want to be.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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To High School Seniors In Their Last Semester

Senior year moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
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Dammit, you made it. The final semester of your senior year. You’re at the top of the food chain of high school, and it feels so good. You’re probably praying this last semester flies by, that you get out of town as soon as possible.

At this point, you’re calling teachers by their first names, the entire staff knows you by name, and you’re walking around school standing tall, owning those hallways. You’re convinced you’re ready to leave and move on to the next chapter in your life.

You’ve already experienced your last football game, standing in the cold in the front row of the student section all season long, decked out in your school colors and cheering loud and proud. That is, until they lost, and you realized you will never have that experience again. Never again.

SEE ALSO: What I Wish I Knew As A Second-Semester High School Senior

You already had your last winter break. Preparing and celebrating the holidays with your family, ice skating and sledding with your best friends. Those quiet nights alone in your room watching Netflix, taking for granted your loved ones just a few rooms away. Never again.

If you’re an athlete, you may have already played in your last game or ran your last race. The crowd cheering, proudly wearing your school’s name across your chest, giving it your all. For some, it may be the end of your athletic career. Before you knew it, you were standing in an empty gym, staring up at the banners and thinking about the mark you left on your school, wondering where on earth the time went. Never again.

I’m telling you right now, you’re going to miss it all. Everything you’ve ever known. Those early mornings when you debate going to first hour because you really need those McDonald’s hash browns. The late nights driving home from practice, stopping for ice cream of course, ready for a late night of homework. Getting food on a whim with your friends. Endless fights with your siblings. Your favorite chips in the pantry. A fridge full of food. Coming home to and getting tackled by your dog. Driving around your hometown, passing the same sights you’ve seen every day for as long as you can remember. Hugs from your mom after a long day. Laughs with your dad. And that best friend of yours? You’re going to miss them more than anything. I’m telling you right now, nothing will ever be the same. Never again.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl That Enjoyed High School

Before you start packing your bags, slow down, take a deep breath, and look around. You’ve got it pretty good here. The end of your senior year can be the time of your life; it’s truly amazing. So go to the winter dance, go to Prom, spend Senior Skip Day with your classmates, go to every sporting event you can, while you still can. College is pretty great, but it’s the little things you’re gonna miss the most. Don’t take it for granted because soon, you’ll be standing in a packed gym in your cap and gown, wondering where the heck the time went. You’ve got a long, beautiful life ahead of you, full of joy but also full of challenges. You’re going to meet so many wonderful people, people who will treat you right and people who won’t.


So, take it all in. Be excited for the future and look forward to it, but be mindful of the present. You’ve got this.
Cover Image Credit: Hartford Courant

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Let Go Of Doubt And Reach Your Full Potential

Stop living a life led by doubt, and start living a life full of possibility.

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Over the years, I've struggled with doubt.

This doubt has dug itself deep into my heart until recently when I decided to act in spite of doubt. In this action of living without regard for doubt, to silence its tearing voice in my mind, and to mull up courage, I have found a life far more fruitful than it would otherwise be if doubt reigned.

For too long, I doubted myself, I doubted God, I doubted intentions, I doubted passions, I doubted the unknown, and I doubted hope itself. But then I realized something. Life is far too short to live burdened by doubt.

A life led by doubt is dictated by unnecessary fears. It's cautious. It's carefully planned. It's boring.

As humans, we were not created to live in doubt. Life is a mystery, the future is not known or guaranteed to anyone. It's easy to seek refuge in doubt and to live a seemingly "safe" life. But doubt is anything but safe.

Doubt tears us away from living a life worthy of the calling we have received.

We are called to be strong, to laugh without fear of the future, to take chances, to be uncomfortable, to feel the pains of growth, and to have fun – the time of our lives.

Your best self lies on the other side of your comfort zone, and to get there, you must silence your doubts. You need to believe that the best is yet to come. This can't be all that there is. You were made for more.

There are goals to achieve, people to meet, memories to be made, places to explore, and a whole life ahead of you to live.

Live a life you are proud of. It doesn't have to be perfect by any means, but be proud of how far you've come, how you are growing, and how you've changed.

Growth is change, and change is good. Doubt will try and tell you the opposite.

With that being said, do something good for yourself that might scare you. Apply for the internship, change your major, make a new friend, take that job, or travel to that country. You are completely capable of anything you set your mind to.

Take this year and make it your own.

Stop living a life led by doubt, and start living a life full of possibility.

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