Even the best of students will struggle under the pressure of attending a university for the first time. There are so many changes to one’s life whether they notice it or not. Here is a list of the lessons I learned the hard way during my first semester in college.
1) Skipping class adds a ton of unnecessary stress to your plate – I’ll be completely honest, this past semester I haven’t been completely committed to my academics. I know it sounds dumb because, you know, I’m at college FOR ACADEMICS but there are a lot of adjustments that go on in the first semester in college. I’m not going to sit here and make excuses because I shouldn’t have skipped at all but believe me! I learned my lesson! I don’t like extra stress so I won’t be skipping again anytime soon!
2) There are many vegetarian options on campus – I wanted to try vegetarianism when I started college but my plan was delayed because I had convinced myself that there were hardly any good options provided in the campus food plan. Sure, there are a lot of meat options but if you really don’t want to eat it anymore just ask for your food without it. It’s actually one of the simplest aspects of my day. If you’re worried about the quality of food without meat, don’t. If anything you’d be better off without it because campus meat can be a bit shady at times.
3) Having an amazing roommate is the only thing that matters – My roommate, Krista, and I hit it off immediately and to this day it has been the best thing that has happened to me all semester. We are true buddies! We hang out all of the time, we don’t get on each other’s nerves, when know when to give each other space, and we’re both really good gift givers (which as resulted in a really fun superhero themed Christmas gift exchange competition). The relationship between you and your roommate could just as well make or break your year so try to your best to make the most of it!
4) Art projects take much more time than one would think – I don’t really want to elaborate much on this one because it had been such a painful lesson but it is 100% true. If you don’t spend much time or effort on your art it will turn out to be crap. My new rule is that if I wouldn’t post a piece on my website then it’s not good enough to be turned into class. Effort. Also, if any of my art professors are reading this, believe me! I really did learn my lesson this time around!
5) Readjusting your lifestyle is mandatory – To put it simply, I’m a Netflix addict. So much so that it’s been eating up a massive amount of my time this past semester. I have to adjust my lifestyle. Do you know what this means? I have to give up Netflix! Goodbye hours of comfort and fun. I’m sure I’ll be much more productive without you! It’s actually pretty interesting when you start to realize what are actual needs and then have to cut out the excess wants that hold you back. Lifestyle changes are hard but it’ll be worth it.
6) Getting a job will help, even just a little bit – Minimum wage may seem like it won’t help, but it really can. I’m not good at saving at all (yet) but having a job has helped me begin to learn how I need to handle my financial situation without going flat broke. It’s quite an adjustment but it’s a necessary one. Having a little extra cash will help soften the fall.
7) Owning up to your mistakes is what makes you a human instead of an idiot – Yes, I made many mistakes during my first semester in college but I learned from all of them. Admitting that you made a mistake to yourself and to the people around you (like me admitting my mistakes to my dad, for example) causes growth. If you continue to make poor choices over and over, well, after awhile you just become an idiot. I don’t want to be that idiot so next semester I’m going to make many changes to my lifestyle! Personal growth can be such a painful process but the results will be absolutely wonderful!