I finished my first year of college.
I FINISHED MY FIRST YEAR OF COLLEGE.
I FINISHED MY FIRST YEAR OF COLLEGE!
Okay, that’s enough.
If you haven’t gotten the memo, I have indeed just finished my first year at university. It’s been up and it’s been down and, quite frankly, it was all around. Going away for school was a very different experience and one that can make or break you. Just the other day my parents told me how proud they are that I came out an even stronger individual after finishing my first year at university. It definitely is difficult. Which is why I’ve compiled a list of “veteran” advice that I hope can guide you all to what is to be expected of your first year at university. Consider this Freshman Bootcamp Preparation.
Freshman Bootcamp Preparation:
Advice to Scare Your Children and Prepare You For Your First Year
1. The dorms will either kill you or make living in the slums seem not that bad
Unless you live in luxury dorms that have lots of space and good ventilation, anyone who lives in the dorms will agree with the above statement. Dorms are not meant for arm space or comfort. It is honestly just a living space where they expect humans to not enjoy themselves or find any relaxing position. They are cramped and usually have a weird smell or bug problem or a poor heating system. Yes, the lack of fantastical rooms means you’ll go into study spaces to breathe properly, meaning you’ll most likely make friends, but that’s about the only positive. And don’t get me started on the bathrooms. Make sure to wear your shower shoes.
2. The homework is not what you expected
Yeah, high school had a lot of challenging homework, but not nearly as difficult as college work is. Because not only is it just the material is more difficult (duh, this is higher education), but there is a lot more work at one time. In high school you maybe had one big project a week and then a big test the next. Imagine having a paper due on Monday, a midterm on Tuesday, two homework assignments on Wednesday, another midterm on Thursday, and then a discussion quiz on Friday. Yes, college is definitely NOT the place for slacking off.
3. The food is pretty decent
Not going to lie, my university definitely has one of the best dorm food options I’ve seen. And considering how many colleges I’ve toured over the last two years, that goes to show how great University of Oregon’s dorm food is. Yeah, it gets kind of boring after nine months of it, but it tastes good, there is variety, and if you have a food allergy, it’s very easy to eat around it.
4. Group projects still happen
If you are like me, group projects are just not your thing. That’s totally fine. However, universities, much like your preschool teachers, still use the whole buddy system when it comes to projects. Only this time they are worth a lot of your grade and more often than not, a large majority of your group gets busy with other school things and you have to do all of the work yourself. Yeah, group projects are unfortunately still a thing.
5. Friends come in the most unexpected of places
You come into college thinking you’ll make friends from your dorm and your classes. But you’ll also make friends with people who go to the same campus events that you always run into. And that girl that always leads the study group? Yeah, she’ll most likely become one of your best friends from all the times you see her. If you don’t make friends the minute you move in, just know that you’re going to make friends all over the place. Even in those tense moments in the library during finals week you will make friends with everyone. As long as you stay quiet.
6. At this point, it can only get better
Your first year is going to be difficult, but the great part is that college really can only get better. You’re used to the work load, you won’t be living in the dorms (hopefully), and you’ll be adjusted to living on your own without your parents. You’re ready for the real world. So even if your first year actually is a nightmare (which it most likely won’t, this post is meant as a joke, university is not this bad), you will definitely enjoy college at some point.
Thanks for reading! If you have any more questions about my experience at uni this year, make sure to leave a comment or tweet me at @teenenthusiasm and I will answer them in my next Q&A. I really did enjoy my first year away and as lovely as it is to be home with my family and friends, I definitely cannot wait to get back to Eugene.
Stay classy, Internet,
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