Time has flown by since move-in-day. It's crazy to think that this week signifies the completion of eight weeks of college (not counting O-Week). Oh, the things I - and any other typical college student - would do to go back to Orientation Week, where there were no worries and all fun.
Everyone says college is the best four years of your life. While I can see that this will likely turn out to be true, the adjustment period is not a time without struggle.
As summer came to close, I began to worry about college. I think that’s a natural thing. Will I like my classes? My professors? The food? My peers? The activities?
Eight weeks in, most of my worries have subdued.
Eight weeks in, I can certainly tell you that “adulting” is freaking hard.
Eight weeks in, I can tell you that I am happy with my new "home away from home."
These eight words adequately capture my love for college in addition to highlighting the expected struggles.
I’m not good at adapting to change. I cried a little when I had to hand the key to my car over to my sister. I cried a little when my parents told me I had to switch bedrooms with my older sisters. How was I supposed to deal with actual life-changing events when I couldn't deal with something so trivial? I was leaving everything familiar. I was expected to accept so many new things. New people. New area. New classes. New EVERYTHING.
I do miss pulling my car into the driveway, walking into the house, and seeing a home-cooked meal sitting on the granite counter-top. I miss coming home to my laundry washed, folded, and put away. I don’t, however, miss the nagging - well, maybe “strongly encouraging” is a better way to put that. I love being able to stay up until 2 a.m. without having my parents yell at me. I love being able to grab a coffee on my way to 8 a.m. lab without having my mom warn me about the dangers of caffeine.
You get to take classes you're interested in (minus those annoying and actually sometimes challenging Gen Eds). Beyond the classroom, there are so many opportunities to experience new things. I can’t log onto Facebook without seeing an event. Michelle Obama is visiting. Louis C.K. will be having a show. Penn Masala is putting on a free concert. These are once in a lifetime experiences.
Juggling social life, clubs, homework, eating, and sleep is no easy task. It wasn’t easy in high school, and it’s not any easier now. Sometimes you have to give up one in order to fulfill all of the others. Never food though. And for anyone who knows me, never homework either. Sometimes you just have to pause for a quick group nap.
This one is rather self-explanatory. You learn about so many new cultures, upbringings, and lifestyles, which all combine to create a very diverse, very unique, and very interesting class.
I took six AP classes senior year. I thought I was up for any challenge. But honestly, college classes are no joke. That in and of itself is a struggle. Being away from hometown friends, family, and simply the comfort of your own bed and your own room can take a toll on you. Some days are just really challenging, and sometimes all you really need is a few words of encouragement.
As difficult as the classes may be, there is no feeling more rewarding than getting an A (not an A- because the minus actually matters in college) on a midterm exam because you know you earned it.
For me, this is the most important one. I often find myself thinking about how lucky I am to be here and to have this opportunity. It's an opportunity that wasn't really feasible for my parents' families. I'm here to grow. I'm here to struggle (and learn from it). I'm here to experience. I haven't ever smiled as much as I have these past eight weeks, and I think that's a really good sign for what the future holds.
I'm not sure what words I'll be able to use to describe the next eight weeks, but I hope that "happy," "exciting," and "rewarding" remain a constant from now until May of 2020.