Thanks for the Memories: A Recap of My Freshman Year

Wow. My freshman year of college is quickly coming to an end. It’s really hard for me to believe that my first year of college is practically over. As I am writing this, exams start next week and then I move out. That is so crazy to me.

When I think about everything I have seen, experienced and overcome during my first year of college, my mind is overflowing with memories and emotions. There are so many things I have done over the past couple of months that it’s hard to remember and name them all. However, I will try my best to do so.

When I first got to college I lived with a roommate and two suitemates. In my previous journals, I mentioned I am an only child and that the thought of living with other people really freaked me out. I think I even wrote a whole journal about it—be sure to look back and read it. Anyway, living with my roommate and suitemates was definitely a unique experience, but after the first semester, I knew I wanted to live alone. Through many emails, meetings and a lot of hope, I managed to get my own room. This was the first time I have ever lived alone in my life. Living alone took some getting used to, but I can confidently say I love it and think I made the right decision for me.

Speaking of making difficult decisions, that is also something I faced during my freshman year.  Because I was basically living on my own, I was making all of own decisions all of the time. At first, I didn’t really know how to handle it, but I quickly learned I loved being in charge of myself. In college you have the power to make all of your own choices. Whether you succeed or fail is up to you and no one else.

This is something I love about college. I love being independent and proactive, and taking charge of my own education. I knew everything was up to me, so I wanted to try my best to do everything right. People always called me a “try hard,” so when I got to college, I decided to embrace it. Being a try hard worked for me during my first year of college. I was invited to join numerous honor societies, received a scholarship within my major and was recognized by Phi Kappa Phi for being in the top 1 percent of my class for my grades during the fall semester (I got a 4.0 GPA).

I’m not mentioning these things to brag about my accomplishments (though I am proud of them) but more to serve as motivation for prospective students who may read this. Working hard really does pay off in the long run. Sometimes it is hard to see when you feel like you have a million assignments due all in one week, but just do your best in everything and things will work out.

During my freshman year, I also learned a lot about myself, my passions and other people. As I mentioned before, I learned that I love being independent. I like making my own decisions and interpreting things in my own way. I really don’t like being told what to do. I like having guidance and pointers, but when it comes to working on something, I like to do it my own way. However, I also love learning, which is obviously an important aspect of college.

I have also realized my passion for writing. In high school, I only wrote academically (like research papers), which is very boring to me. It wasn’t until I got to college and began taking other writing courses that I realized how much I really enjoy it. I like writing about my own experiences and giving my viewpoint on things, like I do for this blog, and being a part of the Odyssey (a writing club on campus). But I also enjoy the media style of writing and listening to people’s stories and writing about their experiences. There is so much you can do and say in writing. I think it is one of the best forms of expression.

Lastly, I not only learned about myself but about other people as well. I learned that making friends can be hard and that it takes time. I also learned that it is OK to be alone and to feel comfortable being your own company. Over the course of my first year of college, I can honestly say I have made some true friends. I met people I could talk to, and I knew they would actually listen and care about what I was saying. Finding true friends is so important in college. It’s easy to put friendships in the back of your mind and only focus on assignments. Trust me I know—I did this a lot during my first semester. However, I learned that having some true friends is really important. Making yourself talk to new people can be hard, but I encourage you to do it anyway because the friendships you make in college have a huge impact on your overall experience.

As you can probably see, I learned a lot during my freshman year of college. The crazy thing is, I didn’t even mention everything. I would have to write a book to include every single thing I learned, experienced or just witnessed.

Going to college has given me more opportunities than I could have ever dreamed of. There are so many things I know I would not done if I had decided not to attend Longwood. I am truly grateful for everything I have learned and accomplished during my freshman year.

And it all started with My Life As A Freshman. I guess you could say it was the first club or organization that I became involved in at Longwood. I owe a lot of my growth and successes to this organization. If I weren’t in My Life As A Freshman, a story I wrote most likely would not have ended up in the alumni magazine. I am truly thankful for being able to be a part of the first My Life As A Freshman group, and the experiences and friendships I have formed because of it mean so much to me. Thank you.