Starting college is a big staple in every student’s life. Here are five things I learned during my first month of my freshman year.
1. Making friends will come in time
Having a mental breakdown about making friends? One single friend even? It happens. Having a group of friends as soon as possible was at the top of my college “to-do list.” I was ready to die before doing things like eating at the dining halls and sitting in class alone. It can be especially hard when everyone you walk past looks as if they already have their group of friends on the third day in. Instead of fishing for friends, I found mine unexpectedly. Because I am in a learning community, I ended up continually sitting next to the same people in most of my classes. Eventually I asked someone for her number so we could hang out outside class and the rest was history. Waiting until I was comfortable enough to approach people actually helped in making a stronger bond with those friends.
2. You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate
I got extremely lucky in having an awesome roommate that I can have fun with, but I’m not afraid to say we’re not best friends. When we’re both in the room together, we love to joke around and vent to each other. However, we are also comfortable with just sitting in silence and going about our own business. It’s a great balance and reassuring to know we don’t have to do every activity together, but if either of us need someone to hang out with, the other one is there.
3. The homework load is everything you’ve heard and more
Now I’m not going to lie, high school wasn’t exactly rocket science, but I did have a good work ethic and dedication. Once I came to college and experienced real courses, I realized how important those things are to have. It’s not the in-class work that’s stressful, but the large amount of homework you can expect for each class. Being able to manage a proper schedule and not procrastinate will literally save your life. Also, try to remember that you’re not always going to get every assignment done and have it be 100 percent up to par all the time. It’s okay and it’s not the end of the world. Your peers are also struggling and on the brink of a mental breakdown as well, so you will take great comfort in that.
4. The dining halls are … interesting
Don’t get me wrong, Nelson Dining Hall’s General Tso’s chicken and Shively’s soup is great. And West Green Market District is just so far away from me. But it stops being great after having it multiple times a day, every week. Before the school year had started, I thought I would be going to a dining hall for every meal. A month later and that statement is really funny to me. Having the Flex 14 meal plan is a gift from Heaven above. Because I rarely go to the dining halls, I usually have more than half of my swipes left at the end of the week. It usually means I have about $60 to ball out at Jefferson Market and get all the edible cookie dough and Hot Pockets I desire.
5. You will find your place
The first couple weeks of college are a little irregular — everything from your eating schedule to sleeping habits are changing. It will be uncomfortable for a little bit, but by the time September comes to an end, those will too. Getting into the groove of when to get up for classes and what to do in between classes will come after experimenting with time a little bit. After roaming around campus, you will eventually find the perfect study spot for you. You will figure out when to eat at Nelson and when to treat yourself to Chipotle. You will also start to learn your roommate’s schedule and know how to live in tandem. It won’t be perfect though. It’s only been a month, and there’s still much more to learn and adjust to. One thing I am sure I have locked down is how to avoid Jeff Hill to the best of my ability.