My first college winter break is coming to a close, and apart from editing pictures and videos, I’ve had quite a bit of time to reflect on my first semester of college. While it was probably the best four-ish months of my life, it certainly wasn’t easy, and I certainly learned a lot both in and out of the classroom.
There is always someone to help you.
And there’s probably a unique person for each type of question you have. Back in high school, I was pretty much on my own with a lot of questions since I personally didn’t find my guidance counselor to be understanding of my own personal goals, and the people I went to for help were usually teachers that could help you with multiple things. In college, my head was spinning when I found out how many departments, sub-departments, and positions existed for student support. There is always someone to help you, and any problems you have are probably not entirely unique.
You’re going to find people that are more like you than ever before.
Before college, I had friends that I liked and got along with, but in college, I found people that I can truly consider my people. My friend group has the same energy, sense of humor, and interests that I do, so I never end up feeling isolated, alone, or like an outlier. Many of my friends are different than I am and have different interests and stories, but it’s a kind of different that is embraced, and we all end up learning from each other and becoming better out of it.
You’re going to find yourself, and change into a person that your old self won’t recognize.
Last year around this time, I was a lot more self-conscious, shy, and I still wanted to be a dance major. Now, I’m a lot more confident, unafraid, and a proud Communications & Digital Media major (something that definitely defines who I am). I feel more myself than ever before. I still get nervous, especially about new things in the unknown, but I feel more unafraid in approaching these changes, and actually appreciate change as a way to grow and make myself a better and more educated person. When I would hear people say “in three or four years, you’re not going to recognize yourself” or that “you’ll be a totally different person by the time you’re a senior in college” at all those Open House events, I didn’t believe them. Looking back, I just didn’t understand what they meant. It’s something that needs to be lived to be understood, and once you understand, you appreciate it more than anything else.
As I’m preparing to head back for my second semester, I have three main goals:
I love doing so many things, but honestly, there aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all at, especially at once (unless anyone wants to tell me that they’ve mastered cloning, being in multiple places at once, or the Jedi mind trick and would like to teach me how to do any or all of the above). I have to remember how to choose what is most important and when it’s most important so I can get done what I need to get done, and save the rest for later.
Keyword: chill. I can’t lie, I had a few emotional breakdowns over the course of the semester, and nearly all of them could have been avoided. College work is a lot, but it’s always better to take a deep breath and find a sense of calm and normalcy in even the toughest times. After all, the most difficult experiences make you the strongest. Everything happens for a reason, it just takes time to reveal the reason, and you are never unprepared for what life throws at you, even if it seems like you’re nowhere near ready.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, I’ve never been happier with college. The environment, the people, and the education I am receiving have all made me just overcome with joy, and it’s important for me to keep it that way. This point very much relates to the earlier two points, but I still think it’s important to keep in mind that I’m in college because I want to be, and everything I’m doing is to make myself happy and to better myself.
I honestly can’t wait to get back to school and experience another semester of laughs, adventures, and memories. Until then, I’ll keep creating, keep thinking, and keep dreaming, all hoping for the next best days ever.