The 15 Things I Learned During My Freshman Year of College

As I reflect back on my freshmen year of college, I know I learned at least 15 things:

  1. How to shuffle cards
  2. I’m a grandma who plays cards every day
  3. I still hate the taste of alcohol
  4. I still hate math
  5. I underestimate myself
  6. I am capable of being on my own
  7. Bad things happen, how you handle the situation is what matters
  8. Your room flooding isn’t very fun to deal with, and it will cause you to do a lot of laundry
  9. Fires aren’t too much fun either, especially when it’s two doors away from you, and it’s so bad that you have to be relocated to another dorm building.
  10. I missed my dog a LOT while I was gone
  11. People aren’t always who they seem to be when you first meet them
  12. Lying is actually okay sometimes (just not too often)
  13. Marissa and Christine are my life savers
  14. I don’t want to live in Michigan after I graduate
  15. It sucks knowing you’re gonna be away for 4 months from the people you’ve spent the last 9 months with, and will spend the same amount of time with next year.

Shuffling cards came with time, multiple people tried to teach me, but I never understood. Finally one day I understood and ever since then I have practiced every day and gotten better each time.

I literally am a grandma after retirement, playing cards all day every day. It started with uno, turned into a deck of cards playing multiple games with that, and eventually turned into phase 10. It’s definitely not what normal college students do on a daily basis, but it’s what we do and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I still hate the taste of alcohol. That’s really all there is to say about that. I don’t like it, so I don’t drink it. I’m definitely not the typical college student, but I am perfectly happy staying in and watching Netflix or playing cards as opposed to going to a party.

I still hate math. However, I decided to take the 2 required math classes all in my freshmen year so that I could be done with them for the rest of my life, and therefore, I am completely done with math classes for the rest of my life, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I had to ask for help a lot, and I became better at doing so because of it, but at the end of the day I passed math and that is what matters.

I underestimate myself; I think I can do a lot less than what I actually can do. Regarding Exercise, school work, working, eating somewhat healthy, making decisions, etc. I can do anything I set my mind to, and if I have the right motivation and will to do something, I will make it happen. I had a goal to never gain the stereotypical “Freshman 15” and because I set my mind to it, it didn’t happen, and I actually ended up losing weight while being away at college. I didn’t think I would be able to juggle working and college at the same time, but a perfect opportunity came up for me to be a student photographer and I ended up getting the job. It wasn’t hard at all to deal with both school and work, and that is why for my sophomore year I will be taking 16 credit hours, as well as probably having 2 jobs.

I am capable of being on my own. Yes I had my mom come get me when things got hard a couple times, yes I almost dropped out within the first week of being at school, no I didn’t buy every single thing myself, but I was able to survive living away from my parents, and that to me is an accomplishment in itself and I am so proud of myself for it. I thought I would be never coming home, but I came home a few more times than anticipated, but it was a nice start for me to dip my toes in the water of being on my own completely.

Bad things happen, how you handle the situation is what matters. If that means your suitemate is threatening to punch you in the face, or you failed a math quiz, how you handle the situation is what matters. I didn’t get into a fist fight my suitemate, and I didn’t give up after failing that math quiz. I was civil with the suitemate (as much as I could be anyway) and I kept trying to do my best at math. I passed math, and I never have to see the suitemate again. My freshmen year definitely did not go as easy as I thought it would, but I made it through it and that is what matters.

Your room flooding isn’t very much fun to deal with. The boys across the hall don’t know how to work a sink and flooded the hallway which went into my room. Every towel and cardboard box was used to soak up the water, yet somehow there was still water all over the floor. That is one of the times I had my mom come get me because things were hard. I had a 101° fever and wasn’t able to sleep at all that night, then at 4am the room flooded. It wasn’t fun but I survived and realized that anything can happen, which motivated me to keep my room clean so things didn’t have the opportunity to get ruined.

Fires aren’t fun either. Especially when there’s an accidental drill 4 hours prior to the real one. It’s a pretty scary thing to open up your door and have to run out of the building while crouched over, and not breathing because there’s black smoke filling the entire hallway. Then getting outside and realizing how bad it actually was, and if you wouldn’t have gone to wake up your best friend in the connecting room, she could be on her way to the hospital. Thankfully, I had my priorities straight. Wake up Marissa, grab $1500 MacBook I got less than 2 months prior, and get the hell out of the building. That was a crazy couple days, but somehow I still managed to make it on the Deans List that semester, even though I was dealing with a fire and getting settled in a different dorm room for about a half a month in the middle of the semester. Just don’t ask me what I learned in class during that time because I honestly don’t remember.

I missed my dog a lot while I was gone. She’s my best friend. I hated being away from her, yet somehow I agreed to go live back at school next year. I don’t know how I’m going to get through it again, but I know I will somehow make it.

People aren’t always who they seem to be. You meet someone and they seem great at first and then you realize so many things you didn’t notice before and they turn out to be a really shitty person. I’m not going to throw anyone under the bus here, but I will say that one person I met within the first couple days of being on campus, and halfway through the winter semester she turned out to be completely different and for my own sanity I had to get out of that toxicity, and thankfully I was able to.

Lying is okay sometimes. Especially when it’s to the shitty people who don’t deserve your energy. Lying is okay when it makes you happy, doesn’t do harm & if it isn’t constant. I’m not sitting here saying I lied all the time while being away at college, but if the situation needed a lie to get me through it, I learned that it was okay to tell a small lie… sorry mom!

Marissa and Christine are my life savers. Marissa stopped me from dropping out after not even being gone a week into school. Classes hadn’t even started yet but I wanted more than anything to leave, and Marissa stopped me from feeling that way. I will forever be grateful for her. Christine is someone I never thought I would be friends with, but somehow is the person I go to for almost everything now. Unfortunately, her roommate skewed my opinion on her before I ever got the chance to make any decisions myself, but doing that backfired on her, and now she isn’t in my life anymore, but Christine is and now Marissa, Christine & I are living together next year and I am super excited about it!

I don’t want to live in Michigan after I graduate. I’ve known it for a while, but being in college made me realize just how badly I don’t want to stay here. It started off as me wanting to live in California, changed to Florida, then it became a most realistic North or South Carolina. Down south, but not too far. I don’t know if I will stick with it, but I really hope I don’t settle on living in Michigan. It is beautiful and all don’t get me wrong, but I’m too comfortable here and I need to be put in uncomfortable situations to continue growing in life. Maybe one day I will want to move back to MI, but I don’t see that happening right now.

It sucks being away from people for 4 months after living with them for 8 months. Christine has basically lived with us for the past 3 months; and we all have to go back home for the 4 month summer we have. It’s gonna suck, but I know FaceTime is easily accessible for us all, and we won’t forget about each other. Knowing I get to live with them for my entire sophomore year is getting me through the summer. As of when I am typing this there is about 60 days left of summer before we are reunited and those 60 days are going to go by so slow but so fast at the same time.

College is weird. You meet amazing people, but you have to weed out the bad people first. That takes a while and it’s gonna make you cry a few times. Things are hard, but you will get though them. Live each day like it’s the last, but for me that involves playing cards every day. It’s what makes me happy, and I’m gonna continue doing just that. I don’t know how the rest of the years will go, but I know how this one went, and I wouldn’t wish the bad parts on my worst enemy. The bad things I’ve gone through are enough to last a couple lifetimes. It’s all part of the bigger plan to make me grow as a person. I know that. I have faith in the bigger plan. I know I’ve grown as a person because of this step in my life and I know I’ve learned a lot of lessons I never thought I would have to learn. Hopefully my sophomore year doesn’t have too many lessons though. I think I had enough this year.

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