College Diary: Surviving Freshman Year!
The first day
Imagine this: You are seconds away from stepping out of your parents car and entering into your new home at college. As the door opens, you see a welcoming crew eager to help unload your car and take your things up to your dorm room with smiles on their faces. After obtaining the key, you arrive at your dorm room and meet your roommate for the first time, while helpers continue to bring everything in for you. As you peer into the hallway, there are other students getting settled in, hugging their parents goodbye, hanging up decor, and meeting new people. You realize that you are going to be on your own for the first time, which you find to be both freeing yet scary.
Throughout "welcome week", several festivities commenced, which gave me the opportunity to play some fun games while meeting new people, helping get relaxed into this new transition.
This describes my first day/week moving into my freshman dorm where I still currently reside. While I myself am not too far way from my home, it can be a little intimidating for students if they are.
Homesick? Most Likely
If you're the type that feels close and connected to your family, it can be hard to separate from them, especially for months at a time. Many college students get homesick when they first move in. It's completely normal! Shedding a tear is even permittable. You may feel the urge to call/skype them often which is also okay as well. Being on your own is hard at first, especially when you have never done it before. You also might feel alone and helpless at times, but it will teach you to be stronger and more independent. After a couple of weeks, you'll be back to your normal self!
The 4 Stages
When first moving in, it is an exciting time. Students participate in all kinds of activities around campus, there are often parties, and the opportunity to meet all kinds of new people. You think to yourself that college is going to be amazing fun and the time of your life. While that may be partially true, it isn't necessarily as easy as it seems.
Stress is an emotion felt by all college students sometimes constantly, or once in a while. Either way, it is very prevalent on campus. All of a sudden it feels like there is a million essays due and wasn't that math homework due yesterday? It can be a lot to take in because it is such a different environment than high school. A planner and good time management will be your best friend! (In other words, DO NOT procrastinate, trust me.)
Signed up for an 8am? I've been there. There is a constant struggle of getting out of bed, which usually leads to multiple alarms and lots of complaining. I'm not a morning person. If you are, great. You might enjoy having class early. However, if you are like me, you will immediately regret it. Finishing homework at 1am and having class at 8am is never a good combo. It only leads to mid-day naps! (Nothing wrong with naps, but try not to take one every day!)
4. The bare minimum
Not everyone will be like this, but I have found that several people wait until the last minute to do things whether it be studying for a test or writing a paper. This way, they aren't doing their best work which can lead to poor grades and the possibility of not passing the class. With the combo of stress and exhaustion, it's no wonder some students struggle to keep up.
Time Management is KEY
I cannot stress this enough. It is the most valuable tool for getting good grades. Taking time to watch your favorite show on Netflix or attend a party is fine, as long as you also make time for your homework. Personally, I will reward myself with either food or Netflix for getting an assignment done. This way, you get the best of both worlds.
When studying, try to find a quiet place. I've found that people in my dormitory can get pretty loud, so i usually look for places like the library to get it done. I also am more productive this way, because there are less distractions.
Don't Skip Class
It's easy to just say "f*ck it" and not go to class. What's one missed class anyways? Actually, it's a large chunk of money. If the class itself isn't motivating you to go, take a quick glance at the price of your tuition.
Once I skipped one class, it made it easier for me to skip more. My roommate even jokingly referred to it as a "gateway drug". I have learned my lesson not to skip class unless there is a true excuse to, for example being ill. You are here to learn and work towards a degree, so that's what you should be doing.
Don't Give Up
There have been numerous times where I've felt like dropping out. I couldn't handle the stress and always felt like I didn't have the ability to do well.
It will get better. As you get used to the workload, you will learn to adapt. It takes time, but as long as you are on top of things, you'll be alright. If you slip through a crack, try getting a tutor and other help. The faculty at your school wants to see you succeed, so they will be generous to help.
It's going to be a mess sometimes and you'll feel like you've fallen off your path, but DON'T GIVE UP. You'll graduate and move on to a job in no time.