Lessons Learned as a Freshman

 CAITLIN MCCAULEY| FEATURES CORRESPONDENT

As the year draws to a close, it is only fitting to look back and reflect on the highs, lows and most importantly the lessons that have been learned throughout it all. Seniors reflect on all four years here and college as a whole, what it’s taught them, their favorite memories and what they’ll miss most. Being a freshman, I don’t pretend to know what college is all about; even after almost a full year, there’s still so much left to be learned. Freshman year teaches us all a thing or two about ourselves, others and our lives in general. Believe it or not, there’s lots to be learned in what feels like the blink of an eye.

Ferris Bueller wasn’t kidding when he said “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around every once in a while, you could miss it.” Somehow, amid those long horrible Mondays, and weeks that felt like they would never reach Saturday, freshman year happened. After move-in day, the weeks flew by to fall break, then to Thanksgiving, Christmas and, before you know it we’re in our last few weeks of school. I can’t tell you the number of times I came home from a dance, party or just a night out with friends and realized I hadn’t taken any pictures. Take a moment to pause, take that picture, look around and enjoy the moment. You’re only a freshman once, and if you don’t stop to enjoy it, you might miss it.

You’re not going to have it together every second of every day. There will be days, even weeks when your room feels like a tornado hit it, the laundry keeps piling up and there are old cups of coffee everywhere. That’s okay. There will also be those weeks when your room is spotless, you wash your face twice every day like you’re supposed to and actually do homework farther in advance than the night before it’s due. It’s all about balance: you may swing from one extreme to the other, but that’s okay. It’s all a part of college and learning to be on your own.

Don’t worry about what others think: you’re wasting your time; you do you. The first day of school one of my biggest concerns was “What should I wear?” What would other people be wearing? Would I blend in and look like a college girl, or would I still look twelve? As soon as I got to my first class it became clear: no one cares what you wear, everyone wears what they want and really isn’t paying you too much attention. College really is about being on your own and learning to do what’s best for you, whether that means wearing dresses to class every day or having multiple servings of diet coke at each meal. If it works for you, do it and don’t worry about what other people will think. Chances are they won’t be too bothered by it, anyway.

Enjoy it while it lasts, because next year you’ll be a sophomore and the newness and novelty will wear off. You won’t be the youngest on campus anymore looking like a deer in the headlights. Instead , you’ll be a seasoned pro (at least you think you will be). And pretty soon after that you’ll be a senior headed off to the real world.

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