Things I've Learned After Completing My First Year At College

As the last few weeks of the school year start to wrap up, it's hard not look back at the year and reminisce about the crazy amount of change that I've goon through in just one year. When I first got to campus, I had so many insecurities about what this year would end up being, none of which came true. I knew that being in college would change me, but I had no idea just how much. Throughout the school year, I have taken many different types of classes, found a new city that I'm happy to call my home, made lifelong friendships, and learned so many new things.

Here are some of the most important things I've learned this year.

Not everyone has to be your friend

One of the toughest things to happen to me this year was when my group of friends split up over some petty drama. I, personally, have never been one for drama and gossip but seemed to be pulled into it anyway. I struggled for a good part of the year with the fact that these people who were my friends weren't around anymore and it hurt to think back about the fun times.

However, I came out of those few months a stronger person knowing that even though the people who were my friends weren't around, I could still love them as people and we didn't have to be friends.

Save, save, save your money

This year, I struggled to pay for my tuition. I was supposed to pay for at least one-third of the cost each quarter I was here at Western. Spring quarter I didn't have enough money to pay, so my mom had to pay it for me. Of course, I want to contribute to my cost of attendance at university, but it can be hard to find a job when your time is stretched so thin. I wanted to go out with my friends and eat or do things like go to concerts but I realized that you can spend your time doing things that don't cost much money and are still just as rewarding, like walking around campus, going to dorm hosted events or club sponsored events.

Laundry should be done at 1 a.m.

Doing laundry in a dorm sucks, there's no way to get around it. In my building, there are only about eight washers for three hundred students who live in the dorm. Most days are a blood bath in the laundry room, especially Sundays. How I've gotten around it is doing my laundry as late as possible. If you go to the laundry room at like midnight, there's barely anyone down there. So, if you're up late studying, why not take a break to go do your laundry? It's a good way to get two tasks done at once.

College professors aren't as scary as they seem

My first college lecture I was terrified that my professor would be a mean old man who embarrasses kids who aren't prepared for class. Instead, my professor skipped down the stairs of the lecture hall in a bright tie-dye shirt, sandals and a Canadian accent. Each quarter, all of my professors have been extremely likable. Some of them I've even gone to their office hours to just talk with them about anything, which was a blessing to me.

Good communication with your parents is essential

Living away from your parents is a hard thing for a lot of students. I, personally, am extremely close to mine and call them every day. While this may be seen as a little bit overboard, it's important to me that my parents know what I'm doing and whether or not I need things like soap, food, or money and they'll be much more easy to talk to if I continue to talk to them daily.

When I thought I was going to fail a Spanish class, the first person I called was my dad who made sure that I knew that whatever happened it was okay, which lessened the anxiety greatly (especially because there was no way I was going to fail the class, I was just being over dramatic).

Your friends will become your family

In the absence of my family, I was able to find people who could give me the emotional support, the love, and the advice that a family is supposed to provide. I am extremely lucky to have found my group of friends so fast. Throughout this entire year, I have spent almost every single day with them, eating dinner, studying together, and just hanging out. I'm so excited to spend the rest of my life talking to these wonderful idiots I can my friends.

As the year comes to an end, I'm excited to go home to my parents and siblings. However, I'm also so excited to come back to Western next year and do it all over again.

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