What I Learned in my First Semester of College

Four short months ago, I moved into my dorm room. I participated in all the welcome weekend activities and went to my first college lectures. As time passed, I got more involved. I went through formal recruitment, and joined a sorority (more about that here). I also joined another campus organization and went to almost all of my classes. I've now finished my first semester at Missouri State University. I didn't expect this semester to go by as quickly as it did. As my great-grandbig has told me several times, college is a time for learning. I quickly realized that a lot of this learning happens outside of classrooms or lecture halls. So here's a few things I learned as I completed my first semester of college:

1. Money is so much more real now. In high school, it was easy to ask your parents for money. Now, you're spending more than you imagined on food. The things you thought you needed aren't as necessary as toilet paper and soap. There's also way less time to work while taking classes.

2. You don't have to go out every night. It's okay to spend a weekend in your dorm or in the library. While they say your GPA does not define you, it sure is important. Although it seems that your social life is a top priority, you are at college to learn. Time management is super important, and it's a daily struggle. It helps to spend some extra time during the week on homework if you know you have a busy weekend coming up.

3. The first friends you make won't necessarily be the ones that last all semester. I don't know what I would do without my group of friends, but it took me a while to meet them. I've never known girls that would drop whatever they are doing for ice cream and venting, then make me laugh until my sides hurt. They constantly blow up my phone, but I would never complain about it. It's sounds cliche but you truly will meet your lifelong best friends in college.

4. Free is your new favorite word. Food? T-Shirts? Cups? Stress balls? Pens? Yes please. Take everything that is offered to you. 

5. Go to sporting events. Refer back to the previous point. You are far more likely to score free things at football, soccer, volleyball or basketball games. Also, supporting your school's sport teams is important. Nobody wants to play and look up to empty stands. Some of my favorite memories involve tailgates and football games.

6. Roommates don't have to be best friends. I spent more time with my friends that don't live on my floor. It's also really nice to have other dorms and rooms you can go to when you need to get out of your room. I'm lucky to have several options to escape to when I need it.

7. Your schedule will completely change. Showering is not optional, but the time you find to do so will feel completely random. On Tuesday, it might be in between classes because you just can't get out of bed any earlier for your 8am class.

8. You will change. I am not the same person that I was in high school. In one semester, I've experienced (good and bad) things I never imagined would happen to people I know. I can't wait to see where this journey will take me in seven more semesters.  

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