Five things I learned my first semester of college


Meredith Van Zuiden

Meredith Van Zuiden | Contributing Writer

The first semester of college can be a combination of emotions for many freshmen. You’re living away from home, meeting new people, participating in many activities, studying academics at a higher level, and are expected to achieve all of this in the span of five months. I know this may sound like any other article regarding the do’s and don’t’s of freshman year. If that were really the case, I would have started off by saying:

1. Don’t go to Malarky’s (I lied. DO go to M-town, or your college experience as a freshman has yet to be fulfilled).
2. Go to bed at a reasonable time, so you don’t end up on a neighbor’s snap story passed out in class.
3. Attend the educational ACES events, you might just learn something. And yes, they’re mandatory, you have no choice.
4. Call your mom at least once a day, so she’s convinced you’re alive and well.
5. Using anonymous social media isn’t the way to attract ladies for your friends; keep that in mind boys (T.H. that means you).

Now back to what I was saying, there are a number of obstacles we’re faced with as freshman. I included the top five things I learned throughout my first semester in this article.

1. Don’t feel pressured to choose a major; sticking with your gut is always the best decision.
When I got here this past fall, I had decided on a business major mainly because I had ruled out becoming a teacher at the time. I had just graduated high school, of course I couldn’t imagine teaching adolescence like my peers for the rest of my life! I knew after the first week of my classes, I had made the wrong decision.

2. Panicking over a low GPA is quite normal; remember you’re not in high school anymore!
I’m sure not everyone had a stellar academic run his or her first semester of college. If you did however achieve that 4.0 GPA and make it on the Dean’s List, I congratulate you on those academic achievements. For many of us freshman, the first semester of college is an academic wake up call. Adjusting to the new life you lead at college can be difficult which makes prioritizing class work low on the to-do list. So don’t give up on yourself, there is still time to bring up your grades over the course of seven semesters.

3. Getting involved, talking to professors, and discovering who you are become huge priorities.
Joining student run organizations, athletics, and participating in events put on by SAB are great ways to meet peers as well. Talking to professors and academic assistants are great ways to become more aware of the classroom setting and pays off in the long run. That sounds all fine and dandy to a lot of people, but seriously become involved or at least socialize with your floor mates!

4. Missing home and family on the daily.
Keeping in touch with your family on a daily basis is a must; if they have social media that’s a definitely helps! My sister Liz has made it her life’s mission to cause me to have withdrawal of my beloved dog Nick. She refuses to send snap chats of him, which will make me want to come home more often to visit.

5. Meeting your true friends while in college isn’t any old wives’ tale.
This may be one of the most important things that I’ve learned this past semester. I’ve met countless people that have helped me get back on my feet after a bad day, usually with the help of coffee and chocolate. Many of my friends, I would do anything for and they would do the same for me in return. In high school, you wouldn’t have caught me speaking up very much, but meeting so many new friends has taught me to join in and let myself be heard.