I remember the day my family left me in my dorm room and I knew the independence I had to carry for these next 9 months. I knew no one at my university, let alone anything about the real world. Well, this is to my first year of college and what I have learned since that first moment when I knew I was independent.
They always tell you “your friends in high school can never compare to your friends in college”, and well, let me tell you first hand that is true. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my high school friends who I love so much, but my college friends, that is another story. I think college friends are even better because they also are going through exactly what I am going through. I could encounter a person once, and they had a huge impact on my life, because of their genuine soul and heart they had for me. I left college with someone of my lifelong friends, and right now I wanna thank them. Our first year together was not easy, we went through hell and back a few times, but you guys stuck by me all year, and some even just this last semester and I wanna thank you for that. We had nights of tears, laughter, anger, and even nights we never wanna forget no matter what happened then, and in our tough times, please remember these nights, because let us be honest, it is what got us through this first year. Thank you for spotting me a few bucks when my paycheck was a little low that week, I promise when were successful we will make up for these times, but for now we will struggle together. Along with that, thank you for showing me such unconditional love that I have never felt before. I wake up everyday and I know that I will never have to go without feeling loved, and let me tell you, that is a feeling I never knew until I got here and it is because of my amazing friends.
I never knew what broke was until I would get excited that my mom sent me cup of noodles every month because she knew that is what I was surviving on. Even with two jobs through this year, I still struggled. But I am so thankful for freshman year struggles, it made me so humble and grateful for the hard work my parents put in all these years to get me to where I am. There were many days I went without eating, but let me tell you those home cooked meals Auntie would make on Wednesday at bible study made up for those days. And another thing, you may go to the shops and want to live lavishly, but I promise not having the newest thing is okay. For one, we are in college, we are broke and everyone knows that, learn from me, you would rather have a meal than the newest fashion style. And another thing, when it comes to moving out, you will curse at yourself the whole time for thinking it was okay to buy all this crap in excitement. Save your money now, it will be worth it in the long run.
Freshman 15 is a lie. That is a myth, I mean, it does happen, but it’s a myth. I remember before I left for college my mother telling me to not over do it at the cafe and wanting me to keep tabs on what I ate so I wouldn’t gain weight, but I actually lost weight. A few tips, cafe food is actually not the best at every campus, stick to the fresh things, fruits and salads, it taste way better then that pizza every night. Also, walk. It may get tiring some days and you may be running late some morning lectures, but I promise skipping the class shuttle and leaving your dorm a few minutes early will count in the long run. I went to the gym a total of three times in my freshman year of college and I swear it did not kill me that I was not there everyday. I mean do not get me wrong take care of your body, but don’t kill yourself doing it. There are plenty of healthy options on your campus, pick them, they usually taste better. And just stick to walking. I was lucky to attend a University by beautiful beaches surrounding me, but no matter where your college is, you can find physical activity inside or outside, utilize those sources.
School is so much harder than you think, high school did not prepare this for me. It’s hard when you want to have a social life, you need to work, along with studying enough for all your courses. But if you have amazing friends, like I did, they will have the priority of studying also. Some have different study techniques, which is fine, but try and take this time to spend with friends who might also be in the same course and make the best of this time as studying and hanging out with friends. Trust me, your parents do not want to see anything but a passing grade because they are paying too much for you to be messing around too much.
My first year could not have been any better. I meet some amazing people, learned how to deal with people who I just do not get along with, and lost some life long friends just because of the distance. But aside from that I learned a lot about myself and the world around me. DO NOT just go to college thinking it’s a party. Appreciate the education and venture out to the new cities around you, it will all be worth it.