ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Surviving the First Year of College

Updated on June 4, 2013
drmiddlebrook profile image

Dr. Middlebrook, former university professor, is a fiction/non-fiction author (pen name Beax Rivers), and virtual writing coach and trainer.

Survivor—College Island—Will Colleen Outlast, Outwit, and Outplay, to Get Her Degree, with Honors?

Colleen is away from home, on her own, for the first time in her life. She is a grown-up, even though she still has to use “teen” to say her age. Age 18, she doesn’t know yet if she feels grown-up or not, because she hasn’t been grown-up long enough to know what it’s supposed to feel like. Most days, she still feels like a teenager, and a teenager is still a child—right? But now she is a college student, living away from home, away from her parents. And even though she doesn't know what to expect, she knows she must be ready for the challenges of being on her own for the first time. After all, she took the plunge—filled out the applications, got accepted into the school she wanted to attend, enrolled, and now her parents have dropped her off, for four years, to go to college. Welcome to “Survivor—College Island.”

It's been hard saying good-bye to yesterday, to the familiarity of home, and high school. But Colleen knows it's time, for her anyway, to leave home and begin life on her own. In high school, she had plenty of good friends, got top grades, and graduated with honors. She wants to do the same thing as a college student, but she knows she has to make new friends and start fresh. Everything feels new to her now, and sort of strange. Will she make the right choices while living away from home for the first time? How will she know when she's making the right choice? Her parents aren't around like when she lived at home, and now she will only be able to depend on herself to do the right things. Will she be able to do her work, everything she needs to do to make the grades she needs to stay in college? This three-part Hub follows our fictitious college student, “Colleen,” through some of what she will encounter, and some of the decisions she will have to make, during her four years at college.

Colleen still feels like a little girl. She even brought her favorite teddy bear with her from home, and she is not leaving him packed away in a box. Mr. Aimsley, her bear, is going to be stationed on her pillow, day and night, and he'll help Colleen to feel secure. Just like he did when she was a little girl.

Hi readers. I'm the person who created, and who is telling, this story about a fictitious college student named "Colleen." I am a graduate of three different colleges, I have three college degrees, including a Ph.D., and I worked as a college professor for over 15 years. Yes, I am well qualified to tell this story. In this story, which I made up based on my own experiences as a college student, I'll be comparing going away to college to a real-life version of the reality television game show Survivor. Young women like Colleen and other students are essentially “marooned” on an island called “college,” and they have to figure out how to survive there in order to leave the island, preferably in four years or less, by completing a degree program and then graduating. Okay, so there may be 16 thousand players (or many thousands more), instead of 16, like on the TV show, Survivor, but still, it’s a pretty good metaphor. In the game of Survivor—College Island, the members all must work together too, in some ways not too unlike tribe members on Survivor. They have to find food, shelter, and figure out how to get rewards, primarily in the form of good grades. And even though no one is “voted out” or cast away from the island by the other tribe members, there are certainly a variety of hazards that can cause a student to be taken out of the game, if they are not careful.

Now let's continue our story.

The First Semester

After the initial shock wears off—from leaving high school, leaving home, and coming to college for the first time, Colleen accepts that her life has changed. She is now inside a new reality called college, and she realizes she has to learn to swim there, or she’ll surely sink.

At first, it was a little hard, learning to manage her time, her classes, and her studies, but soon Colleen’s first fall semester is over and she feels a little more confident about being away at school, out of the care and watchful eyes of her parents. But, she made it through, so she knows college is not the end of the world that she thought it would be on her first day there. She had to learn to get up every day and get to class on time, and to regulate her study habits so that she could make good grades.

Be sure to read:

Colleen Continues Her First Year at College

Can Colleen Conquer Her Last Two Years of College?

If you like reading stories involving college students, you might also like this romantic fiction novel:

Beax Rivers’ novel, Silver—Currents of Change. Zarah, who finished high school three years earlier than most, is a very young college student. After struggling and fighting to fit in, in high school, she went to college and discovered she had to find a way to fit in there too. As a senior, after winning her “dream internship” working in publishing at a magazine, her life changes dramatically, and once again, she finds herself having to take on, yet again, an extremely tough set of challenges.

© 2012 Sallie B Middlebrook PhD


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)