As you know my first year of college is over. This year was amazing and today I wanted to share a few things that I learned during this experience!
1. It's Very Easy to Overpack
I think everyone can confidently say that every freshman will overpack when they first move into their dorm. I read it everywhere and knowing that I was the QUEEN of overpacking I tried my best not too...but of course I did. Your dorm is so small but there are so many things you think you might need.
Here are some things I bought that I rarely used: a smoothie maker, plates, toilet paper (dorm bathroom provided it), big blanket (we had no AC), a lamp, Tupperware (can't take food out the diner).
Here are some items that were actually very useful and helpful: first aid kit (I'm a very clumsy person), medicine, printer, mini-vacuum (its amazing how quickly the small dorm can get messy), Keurig (perfect for coffee and for making ramen noodles!).
As time went on I got better at learning what I actually needed and what I could leave at home. Next year, I'll be living in a suite...even though I'll have much more space I'm going to try to pack only what I need. If you want to see how I'll pack and design my suite let me know!
2. How to be Independent
The first thing I learned about college is how dependent on my mom and family I was before my freshman year. I remember when I moved in, said my goodbyes to my family, they left.... and I was all alone. At that moment it hit me that I was really about to start this journey alone and the outcomes were completely dependent on my actions. In my first year I learned how to budget, to manage my time, to prioritize, to make sure I was eating healthy and taking care of myself. Independence is something that all incoming freshmen should be looking forward to, it is the best feeling to be in control of your life. However, the transition can be difficult so start preparing yourself now! If you haven't already, take on more responsibilities and have less for your parents to take care off, this will help make the transition easier.
3. How to Study
I have never worked or studied this hard until getting to college, not to say that I didn't work hard in high school because I did....it just doesn't compare to the amount of work that college courses demand. This year I learned to master my studying skills. I learned exactly what works best for me. A tip I would give to incoming freshmen is to find out your study-needs as quickly as possible. Try new methods at the start of the semester so you can study smarter and save time.
4. How to be Yourself...Do Your Own Thing!
The great thing about college is that there are so many people...I'm talking about thousands of people! And with so many people in my surrounding I really learned how to be myself without worrying what other people were thinking or doing. I loved the fact that there was no drama like there was in high school, everyone was just going to class and minding their business. I really feel that the college atmosphere has allowed me to blossom, I'm more confident in myself this year than ever before.
Even though the university is a big place, peer pressure definitely still exist, it can easily seem that everyone is partying, drinking, smoking, etc and that you have to do that too in order to fit into the campus climate. This is false and we actually did an experiment in my Psychology class, the class was asked to estimate how many people on campus drank alcohol regularly, next we were asked to answer the question about ourselves. This continued with questions about partying, drugs, sex, and so on and in each and every case our estimate's of the people around us were much much higher than what people were actually doing.
I say all this to say that if you don't want to party or drink or whatever, you are not the only one making that decision, you're not the odd one out. Most of your classmates are making that choice too. If you know me you saw that I was not out in the bars or partying every weekend and that's ok! And if that's what you want to do that's ok too!
You can also feel pressure in other ways. As a pre-med student, it is very easy to feel stressed when comparing yourself to other students. So don't. Everyone's path is different.
I learned that I didn't have to feel pressured into anything that I didn't want to do and that everyone's college experience is unique.
5. The Opportunities are Endless
I learned in college that there are so so many opportunities available! There are so many clubs, societies, fraternities, sororities, and organizations that you can join! I learned that college is truly the time to explore all the possibilities. After my first year, I am now so so excited for the next three years and for all that is in store for me!
Those are just five of the things that I learned during my first year of college, I hope that you enjoyed the post!
Stayed tuned for a post reviewing all the things I did this past year, if you have any other questions or suggestions for posts please let me know! My trip is also just a few days away so stay tuned for travel posts.
It's been a great year, thank you all for allowing me to share my journey and for supporting my blog.