Starting college is a major milestone in life, which comes with new experiences, opportunities, and challenges. As a freshman, I was excited yet anxious about what college life would be like. Looking back, I realize how much I have learned over the past year, from academic success to personal growth. In this post, I will share the top four lessons I learned during my first year of college.
#1 Things Don’t Always Stay The Same
When I first got to college, I was nervous and scared out of my mind. I thought I was going to be alone without any friends and just stay locked in my room all day. I was wrong lol. Within the first few days of being in college I made a whole group of friends and I thought we were all going to be inseparable. However, once the school year officially kicked off things weren’t the same. Some people became more involved with other things and made new friends. Which wasn’t a bad a thing, I mean of course I wanted things to stay the same, but everyone has the right to explore different things and meet new people. It’s life. I, of course, had my hopes so high because I thought we were all gonna stick together all throughout college, like you see on movies and stuff but unfortunately that didn’t happen. People change and that’s okay. I’ve become content that this is only my freshman year and I have three more years left to continue building new relationships with people who will be my lifelong friends.
#2 Boys Are Not Mature! Run Away…Far Away
Okay, I’m gonna keep this short and simple without going too much into detail lol. That’s a story time for a whole ‘nother day. When I first got to school, I wasn’t looking for a relationship being that I was currently in one & trying to escape it at the same time (another long story). Long story short I wanted to explore my options and experience new relationships. I was away from home which means these guys here at school are from all over my home state and some even out of state. So, I’m really over thinking like “we in college now, these guys know what they want, they not about to play around.” NO! They don’t. They really don’t girl. It’s so bad that’s it embarrassing (for them not for me).
I’m not mad about anything that I experienced, it just goes into a little book in my mind that knows when a guy is playing me. I’m grateful because it’s made a stronger person and it made realize that I deserve so much more! Anyways, don’t worry about these bum ass little boys. Focus on you and the right one will come eventually. Besides, college is the time to find YOURSELF. Once you dedicate time to building friendships and establishing your interests, you will be in a much better position to start a relationship if you choose to do so.
#3 Comparison Is the Thief of Joy
Being in college is hard. I know that’s what people have always said, and I don’t think they necessarily mean the work. Yes, the workload is tough but when you have that along with your mental health and comparing yourself to others, it’s the worst! When I say comparing, I mean academically. Academically, I’ve always been a good student from elementary all the way to 12th grade. I never failed a class or made a grade below a B. When I got to college, that all changed drastically. I honestly was not prepared. I often struggled with thinking that I was dumb or wasn’t smart because I couldn’t pass my exams or that I failed two classes my first semester. But that wasn’t the case at all! Everyone retains information differently and learning how to study was definitely something I had to learn how to do in a way that works for me.
**While it’s not a good thing to fail a class, it’s definitely a common thing amongst college students especially within their first year, so if this does happen to you just know that it’s okay! Chances are you can retake the class and replace the grade. **
Another thing is that I not only compared myself when it came to grades but with my major as well. When I entered my institution, I was an elementary education major, and I knew that wanted to change it. Mostly because I wasn’t happy with it, and I didn’t feel like that it was something I wanted to do. Everyone around me knew what they wanted to do, and I didn’t. I felt stuck. Even though I eventually changed my major, I still don’t even know what I want to do. I mean I know what career path I wanna take but I’m not sure if it’s the path that God has planned for me. It’s gonna take a little more time to figure it out but I’ve learned to be okay with that.
#4 Self-Care is Essential
The last thing I’ve learned during my freshman year is the importance of self-care. College can be overwhelming, and it’s easy to neglect physical and mental health. In my case, I always wanted to stay in the loop of everything and hang out with my friends, whether it was studying together, going to get food, going to events, etc. All of this was fun don’t get me wrong but doing this constantly got tiring and I eventually wanted time to myself. So, I did just that. I started prioritizing that time more and doing more of what I wanted which led to me saying no sometimes, which should be normalized.
I think the biggest thing for me was to always be present in those moments with my friends and to collect memories but all that can still be done. I’ve learned that it’s okay to miss out on things sometimes. You don’t always have to do everything and honestly you just can’t. You can only do so much as a person, not to mention being a college student as well. It’s important to know your boundaries and not cross them for anyone.
As I am entering my sophomore year in the fall, I hope to take all what I have learned and hopefully see growth in myself, not only as a student but as a person. I also hope that this gave peace those who just finished their first and have similar experiences, as well as some insight to those that are about to start college. I wish you nothing but the best. I know you will do well just remember to protect your peace, make some friends, have fun, stay away from these boys (find real men!), and GO TO CLASS! Please.
Before you close out this post, I have attached some of you guys’ responses to the poll I asked a few days ago about what you learned your freshmen year and I thought they all were intriguing and relatable. So, thank you to those who did respond, you are much appreciated.
stay lively and beautiful!