To be quite frank, I didn’t really have a vision of who I wanted to be going into college, or for ending my first year. However, just because I didn’t have any idea of who I wanted to be doesn’t mean I didn’t change into a more complex and slightly different person.
I don’t think I anticipated the transition from being in high school and coming back home to family everyday to a life where it was just me at a new home with finding a new family to be so hard. I obviously eventually got myself sorted out, but it took some time for me. Finding my solid friends took a long while, and I was becoming kind of discouraged in the beginning. Classes were hard, I didn’t know how to manage my time or study habits at all, and I basically did everything on the fly instead of planning ahead of time. However, those kinds of things just take time, and now that I’m looking back where I am at the end of the year, I believe I have definitely improved in every area I mentioned.
One thing I did know I wanted to do in college was to try new things and to expand my horizons. This took form in the shape of many things. I attended some of the rowing club meetings, even though I never participated in a big sport in high school. I pushed myself to interact and find new friends through athletic band, something which was a bit daunting. I even pushed myself to go around campus just to experience what college really can be, and I’m glad I did because now I feel like I belong here on campus with everyone that I know. That being said, I still want to push myself to try new things and branch out into more clubs even more than I did. Now that I have more of a firm foundation, I really want to try new things I didn’t think I would be able to do.
One of my biggest challenges through my first year was definitely academics. I remember the first time I got a 60 percent on a math exam, I was devastated. Getting that kind of grade was completely foreign to me, and I was rattled to say the least. This is when I began to question if I belonged in college, and if it was the right fit for me. However, I can now thankfully say that it was an overreaction. Over time, I realized that there are going to be some tests that will tear me apart, but it is not the end of the line. There are always many other avenues and opportunities to continue to do what I want to pursue, and that a test grade does not entirely define who I am as a person. Grades are not the final line when it comes to happiness or what I define as success in life.
Time management is still one of my biggest challenges that I need to work on. I am still awful about getting distracted by YouTube on my computer or by flipping through Instagram for hours instead of just hunkering down and getting to work. However, I am slowly but surely building up better time management strategies. I just need to stick to it and put myself in an environment conducive to getting work done quickly and efficiently so I have more free to time relax, be myself, and to find new ways to express myself here on campus.
Despite the negative experiences I’ve had in college, I would say that there are definitely more positive experiences to outweigh the negative. I would say I have grown as a person, including academically, socially, and internally. Where I started off the school year wanting to leave college, I ended the year not being able to wait to move in with my friends and start off an even better year than this one. I can’t wait to meet my old friends back at home, but I also can’t wait to start a new chapter with all of my new friends and classes next year.