Classes are winding down, boxes are being packed, the temperature is heating up, and thunderstorms are becoming an everyday occurrence. You know what that means, spring semester is coming to a close! Between studying for finals and packing up all of my belongings, I’m taking time to reflect on my first year of college.
During my first week here in Daytona Beach, I had no idea what to expect once classes started at ERAU. Would I have homework everyday, will the professors know my name, where can I eat after class, and more, were all questions I asked myself. I am the oldest child in my family, so I did not have any stories about college from older siblings to rely on. I was going into my first day of classes with a completely blank slate.
Now, after a full year of classes at ERAU, I can say that college is not what I expected it to be during that first week. However, that is a good thing. I learned that in college…
1. You have the freedom to do what you want to do, however the choices you make about how you spend your time will catch up with you. Whether the choices be good or bad, you decide.
2. Everyone is here to succeed. Back in high school, there were people who just went to class because they had to. In college, you go to class because you genuinely want to learn and succeed in your field. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be here.
3. There are so many resources to help you. Going in to my first day of class, I thought I was alone. I did not think anyone cared if I succeeded or not. Now I know I was completely wrong. ERAU provides amazing resources to help you with internships, tutoring, medical needs, and anything else you could possibly think of. I never feel like I am alone because now I know I have a huge web of resources who will be there for me if I ever need anything.
After looking back on my freshman year, I’ve realized that I made some mistakes, but I also grew tremendously. I’ve grown academically because of classes which have pushed me to think outside of the box. I’ve grown socially because of clubs and organizations that challenge me to get out of my comfort zone, volunteer, and be a part of something bigger. I’ve grown emotionally because I’ve lived 3,000+ miles away from everything I ever knew before. Lastly, I’ve grown mentally because I am continuously surrounded by people who think different than I do, who may live on the other side of the world from me, and who are pursuing amazing careers in a different field than I am. All of the experiences I have had in my first year of college have been an integral part in my learning process. It’s not just the classes you attend which prepare you for life after college, but also the experiences you have along the way.
As a freshman in my last week of classes, I have some advice for incoming freshmen in the Fall 2015 semester…
College will be the most rewarding time of your life, if you let it challenge you. Go into your freshman year with an open mind about everything, because I promise you, college is not what you expect it to be. Meet new people, travel around the area, study hard, join clubs, get a job, and have fun! Don’t constrain yourself by letting your preconceptions conceal the endless opportunities available right outside of your comfort zone.
Although this is my last blog entry of the semester, keep checking back during the summer! I will be writing about my experiences, wherever life takes me.
Until next time,