You know that moment, when your on a roller coaster, your strapped in and your going up an incline? Your stomach is dropping, your palms are sweating and your nerves are gathering because you know the drop is coming sooner then later and its going to be exhilarating and scary. That is similar to the feeling I was experiencing when I started College. After your first week, your first cycle of classes, and you meet some nice people you eventually do drop off. You get off the roller coaster completely, and now, well its just every day life. After you get a feel for your environment and your schedule normalizes, nothing feels to out of the ordinary. Now it is just you, in college, doing your college thing. I am coming into my eighth week here, and there is definitely some aspects to university life that I want to share and discuss with you. Some negatives, some positives, and some things that I have learned along the way. I know that I haven’t been here long, and I will experience so much more, but I just wanted to write a reflection on my first few weeks here as a freshman. Here are some life lessons, good and not so good moments, things that I wish I had known before I got here, and everything that I have had to face in between.
- The Freshman Fifteen is not a myth, it can/will happen to you. Incase you don’t know, the Freshman Fifteen is an infamous term for the weight you gain in your first year of college. All the newfound freedom and easy access to ooey chocolate chip cookies, and frosted cupcakes, along with the substance consumption, and lack of curfew basically equals fifteen ( or a number around there) pounds up on the scale. Unless you are extremely cautious and have extraordinary will power, most of us bend the knee to the dessert table. It’s so easy to run up and grab a donut after lunch, or in the morning to have a scone with your bagel. Its sugary, it’s yummy, and its available. Yet, when the “little kid in the candy store” effect wears off, and your jeans don’t fit like they used to, well that’s when you look back on all of the snacking and dessert grabbing and start to get a concept of all the calories and sugar you are digesting. About two weeks ago I took a look in the mirror and started to feel really bad about my physical appearance. I felt heavy, bloated, and gross. Making good choices is hard especially when the right choices are hard to find and not always available. So I started to map out a system to keep myself on track. I was going to write another food post all together so I will spare you the nitty gritty details and save the specifics for then. Something that I find extremely helpful is taking pictures of my food. If at every meal you take a quick pic of what you are eating, not only does it persuade you to eat healthier, but it shows you what you consume throughout the day so you know if your over doing it or not. This only works if your honest though, so if your thinking about trying this technique, you can’t choose what you want to take a picture of. You have to be real and snap everything that you put in your mouth. The rest I will put in my other diet and wellness post so if you want to learn more, I will be posting about that soon and you can read about it then.
- Living with someone else has an adjustment period, compromise, and don’t be afraid to speak freely to your roommate about any concerns or issues you are having. It is just as much your room as it is theirs.
- Learn how to time manage properly, and always have an agenda with you. I was struggling with keeping myself on a schedule, so I talked to my friend and they helped me create a calendar with a general outline of when I should take free time and when I should focus on my work. Time blocking your calendar out HELPS, plus you can do it all on your phone with an app. If you don’t feel comfortable going to a friend and asking for help, seek out a student center or an advisor and they will either point you in the right direction of someone who can sit down and teach you how to do time management, or help you themselves. IT IS OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP! Never feel ashamed of struggling as long as your are working to improve yourself with maximum effort.
- Something I wish I had known before I packed my bags, is that there is absolutely no need to pack up your entire bedroom. Dorms are small, and living in a tiny space with someone else requires organization. If your messy like me, the less stuff you have the better. A minimalist approach will keep your side of the room decluttered and clean looking. Trust me, your not going to want stuffed animals, nick knacks and random crap you have collected over the years in your limited space. I know I will be taking home stuff I don’t need this upcoming winter break. The essentials are important, but remember that you also don’t want every inch of your room to be showered in your stuff. You need your desk relatively clear, and your bins to have some extra room incase you go shopping and gradually collect other things over the course of the semesters. So if your packing up for college, I highly recommend you think about how much use you’ll get out of what your packing. If you normally don’t pick it up at home, chances are it’ll be unnecessarily packed in your dorm somewhere.
- Lastly, I wanted to point out that college is purely what you make of it. One of the more important lessons I have learned so far is that if you don’t involve yourself, your college experience will not as positive and fun as someone who did choose to bring themselves to a club or an event. If your having problems finding where you belong, go to a bunch of different meetings and clubs until you find the place where you feel you fit. Recently I felt I had to much free time on my hands, and I needed a place to go when I wanted not only a social environment but a place where I can distress and blow off steam. I found the radio club and now I have my own show. Whenever I feel down or just need to get out of my dorm room, I head to the radio station. I love it, and it already feels like home to me there. It gives a community and its a wonderful creative outlet. My final point is, is that if you grab college by the horns, you can get a pretty awesome ride out of it. Taking charge, being friendly to people, and trying new things is the best thing you could possibly do to enhance your college life.
Hopefully you took something from this, and it helped or you related to it one way or another. And if you didn’t, well then I hope you enjoyed. If you want to tune into my radio show, go to mixlr.com/wsam-radio, every Sunday I am on from 4-5 pm. Hope you will listen in!