Well, I am happy and sad to say that I am almost done with my freshman year of college. I remember being told by others that college goes by fast, but I never believed them. I thought that with all the stress, studies, and for me, running in cross country and track, it would drag on forever. However, now that this year seems to be rushing to an end, I would have to agree with what those people told me. The only aspect about this year that makes it seem long is when I think about how much I’ve grown as a person. I mean, wow, when I think back to who I was coming in-a nervous freshmen who was so shy I hardly spoke a word, not even to my own team- I don’t even recognize myself.
Now, I feel like almost an entirely different person. I am much more confident and not afraid to be myself…at least not in front of my team since I can be quite silly and weird. I made so many more friends than I thought I would (and if you’re a naturally shy person like me and are worried you won’t make friends, I can assure that it’s very possible). Just by hanging out in the lounge on your floor, or attending some of the different events your R.A. has are some of the best and easiest ways to meet new people. Remember, almost everyone doesn’t know someone coming in, so you’re all in it together.
As far as academics, it is very doable. Just staying on top of your assignments and studying (no procrastinating), and learning to prioritize is all you really need to do. Your freshmen year will be most likely your easiest year, so if you have it all together, you should be set for those next 3 years of college. Personally, I thought that this year was really quite similar to high school. BUT, the one exception is that you need to study a lot more since most classes will not give you homework. In other words, the majority of your grade is almost always based off of exam and quiz scores (in writing classes this would be your papers), so it is highly important that you understand the material as you go along by studying ahead since you’ll have very little to no assignments forcing you to do so.
Hmmm, but what made it all go by so fast you might be wondering? Well, to be honest, I think it was because I had so much fun-‘time flies when you’re having fun!’-and it really does. However, it wasn’t always fun. I did need to find a balance in the beginning between my social life, academics, and running cross country and track, and I somehow managed to. I had meets every weekend, so I learned to be very productive during the weekend on the days I wasn’t running at a meet or practice. That way, I made sure to set aside some time to hang out with my friends the rest of the weekend. Since practice was also at 6:00 a.m. two times a week, I learned how to not stay up all night studying but instead using the time I had between my classes to study. You’d be surprised by how much you can get accomplished in that time, even if it’s just an hour between your classes. Once I started using my time better, I didn’t feel as exhausted from staying up the night before..which lead to a much happier me!
Everyone is different of course, and you’ll be able to find what works for you. Just be sure to work hard and have fun!