College is hard. I am not afraid to admit that. It does not mean that I am struggling in college. It does not mean that I do not like college. In fact, I love college. I love the fact that college is hard.

I enjoy challenges and college is the perfect time to explore and grow.

College has really brought me out of my comfort zone and I am thankful for that.

Moving almost 2000 miles away from my family and my home was an obstacle for me. I have never been separated from my family for such an extended period of time. During my first two months of college, I missed home frequently. Daily calls to my mom and Facetiming my sister and close friends certainly helped me transition better in college. I am lucky to have such a wonderful support group that I can turn to whenever things get tough. Even though I miss my family and friends very much, I am glad that I decided to attend an out-of-state college. With these new experiences, I am able to learn more about the world around me and more about myself.

Academics in college is also vastly different from high school. I am not used to having almost a hundred students in one lecture hall. In high school, the maximum number of students in my class was thirty. When I was registering for classes this summer, I was scared that the class size was going to impact the learning environment. However, after actually attending class, I realized that class sizes do not play a huge factor. I noticed that have more people present does not actually impact the teaching quality.

The way classes are formatted also differed between high school and college. Since high school classes were smaller, learning was much more one-on-one and personalized. There were more hands-on activities and the teachers always ensured that each student understood the concepts before moving on to new topics.

In contrast, college courses are more lecture-based. The professors are very passionate and want their students to succeed but they do not slow down for students. In short, there are higher expectations for college students. I realize now that I actually prefer the learning style in college.

In addition to academics, I also have to worry about taking care of myself. Since I am from the west coast, adjusting to Atlanta’s weather has been a struggle. Throughout my childhood, I have been accustomed to Arizona’s dry heat and non-existent winter.

Before I moved to Atlanta, I never owned a raincoat or a sweater. I am not used to Atlanta’s chilly mornings and evenings and comfortable afternoons. After getting sick multiple times, I finally learned how to adapt to Atlanta's unpredictable weather. From this experience, I learned health is just as if not more important than academics.

Even though college is hard, I look forward to each day with a bright smile on my face.

I love how each day is a new adventure. College is exactly what I expected and more! I cannot wait to see where college takes me.