The first year of college is filled with constant change and learning. Not only in the classroom, but in general. After finishing up my first year of college, I definitely noticed a change in myself and felt myself evolve throughout the year. So sit back, relax, and enjoy reading these five lessons you learn during freshman year of college.
Chores are relaxing:
No way? chores are the worst! well, not after freshman year.
Maybe this isn’t the case for everyone, but somehow during the time between leaving home after graduating high school to coming home after freshman year, I find myself mindlessly wanting to do the dishes, clean or go on random grocery shopping trips.
This really surprised me because I, like most people, use to despise doing chores because they felt like more work piled on top of my already busy schedule.
However, sometime during freshman year, as life became busy, I found comfort in completing tasks like laundry or taking the trash out. Now that I’m back home, this mentally has stuck with me.
Chores have become more relaxing and (dare I say) become fun. (Now quick pause as I go make sure my parent’s socks haven’t been knocked off too much when they read that haha).
Whether this is just a lesson college taught me or part of the growing up process (or maybe proof that I’ve finally lost my mind) I can’t say for certain. What I do know is somehow between classes, college taught me to enjoy chores.
Decisions are your own:
You get to decide how to live your life!
Before leaving for college you have to ask permission to do a lot. Can I go to my friend’s house? Can I join this club? Can I do this or that?
It’s just a part of growing up.
However, once I went off to college, I realized there was no one I needed to ask before making a decision. All I had to do was check my schedule and then if I felt I had the time and it was something I wanted to do I just… did it!
Like Spiderman said (or like we said during junior year mock trial) with great power comes great responsibility. This opportunity to make decisions on your own is a big step towards adulthood. Finding a balance between saying yes and no to social events and tasks is important, and college is a great time to find that balance.
Whether it’s making decisions that affect your health, academics, extracurriculars, social life, or your values in general, living independently in college really allows you to figure out what you want and then make decisions that reflect your values.
Planning when to eat:
because there is nothing quite like walking up to a dining hall only to find it closed.
In high school (at least at my high school) we had a 30-minute lunch bell and you either ate during that time or not. Sure you might get one of the cool teachers and be given permission to eat some food during fifth bell or grab a quick snack while rushing to classes, but, ultimately, lunchtime was lunch time.
However, in college everyone’s schedules are different. One thing I ran into was the dining hall hours overlapping with my class times. This left me having to get creative with when I ate.
For example, some days I was able to go to lunch in the dining halls with friends and others it was easier to just make food in my dorm room so I could maintain a flexible schedule.
I also found packing snacks in my backpack to be another method of getting meals in, while also balancing my involvements. Either way, meals were one more thing to schedule time for.
THE FREEDOM TO BE YOUR BEST SELF!
When you think of college, you think of freedom right?! College is known for being a big step in gaining independence. And with this independence comes the horror stories. Tales of good students losing themselves to college parties. Crazy nights and hungover days. Stories of falling grades and run-ins with the police la la la.
No, I’m not talking about that kind of independence. Instead, I want to focus on the independence that opens the door to success. I’m talking about the independence that can actually help you be more successful!
Where you can take good students and make them better. Have eye-opening days and hardworking nights. Make your own story filled with good grades and run-ins with other motivated like you (and yes sometimes you run into the police… but only to have them hand you a crime log for a data visualization story lol!).
But seriously, one thing I noticed when coming to college was how independent I could be with a more flexible schedule and the ability to make my own decisions. This topped off with the opportunity college provides, I was able to learn and so much more than I expected in just one year.
With this independence, I could join organizations that aligned with my passions and dedicate myself to learning skills I could use to further my understanding of journalism and law. Also, the flexibility of being able to schedule my day the way I wanted allowed me to juggle a busy schedule. I had the freedom to dedicate myself more to one class or organization when needed.
For example, I could choose to give more of myself to mock trial in the weeks leading up to regionals and then turn around and dedicate myself fully to The New Political and our awesome summer magazine when we were putting it to bed (speaking of The New Political magazine, if you haven’t seen it make sure to check it out here!)
This independence allows you the chance to focus in on your passions and spend more time enjoying whatever it is you love to do. Also, (as someone who loves being around other people) I was able to be more flexible with my schedule and spend time with friends during random afternoons (and even play ping pong some days before class).
So, while college independence can sometimes be told through a horror lense of overindulgence, it can also be a great time to overindulge in your passion and help you create a lifestyle fit for success.
There is freedom in scheduling:
Guess what time my earliest class is next semester? 11:50 a.m.
Get excited! In college, you don’t have to take an 8:00 a.m. class ever again if you don’t want to! So, if waking up for early classes in high school wasn’t your thing, you can now choose to start your classes later in the day (or choose to start them early if you actually like that) depending on whatever you prefer.
But wait there’s more! You can also decide if you prefer longer classes that meet less often during the week or shorter classes that meet more often!
For example, I love scheduling multiple classes on Tuesday and Thursdays, since I can have my heavy class days spread out between lighter days on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. This way I can have more days of the week open for homework, miscellaneous work, interview, etc. Depending on your preference, involvements, and other factors, you now have the flexibility and freedom to schedule your time in a way that works for you!
You learn a lot in college and all these factors help you, ultimately, learn more about yourself!
So those are five lessons you learn during freshman year of college! I hope you found these lessons helpful and interesting (I know learning them was an interesting rollercoaster ride for me haha). For those reading this, who also just finished their first year of college, I hope you found this relatable (also mini celebration for making it through year one! we did it!).
For more advice that can help you through college, check out six tips on how to survive the college weed out class and transitioning from a quantity to quality life.