Nothing could have really prepared me for my first semester of freshman year; after all, how does one anticipate what it’s really like to share a room with another person, live absolutely independently for the first time, or learn your way around a completely new place and life? What I deducted from my first semester is this; college is hard. The adjustment is hard. Between balancing your budget, finding the right buildings on campus, figuring out when to go out and when to stay in, making new friends, and everything else college has to offer, it can be pretty overwhelming. Furthermore, it’s easy to feel like you’re alone in the adjustment when everyone else’s Snapchat stories, instagram posts, and Facebook photos imply that they have everything figured out. Yes, college is definitely hard.
But college is also amazing. The independence that seems so daunting also gives you the opportunity to make decisions for yourself and to be in control of your own life. The workload may be overwhelming, but it allows for a bigger sense of accomplishment when you get your first A on a test and know that you earned it. Nothing compares to waking up everyday in a city with many other undergraduate students and knowing that your opportunities are endless.
When I compare my first week of the semester to my last, I can’t believe it. I started Meredith as a terrified freshman who had no sense of direction, knew very few other people coming in, and who had never been away from home for more than a month. By the end of the semester, I was more of a moderately scared freshman who knew her way around campus pretty well and had met more people than I could have imagined. I’m definitely still adjusting, and I definitely still have a long way to go, but what I truly learned from my first semester is this; everything worthwhile is worth struggling for, and though college is inevitably tough, it will only continue to become more and more amazing.