I am officially on summer break (for a week) and before I get into the meat of this post – my freshman year reflection – I’d like to apologize for my week-long absence. If you missed it, I started a Youtube channel and have been vlogging and editing all week long. I’m getting the hang of it, and at first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to leave blogging for vlogging, but I think I want to try to juggle both, since I do love writing posts as well, not just talking to a camera.
So I finished my freshman year this past Monday after my last final – hallelujah. I think the easiest way to break my reflection down is to sort by category: academically, emotionally, socially, physically, and professionally.
Academically // I worked really hard in high school, and I think if anything, coming to college has strengthened my work ethic. I’ve learned to really love the libraries at my school, so I’m able to spend tons and tons of time in there studying for my classes. Besides my first quarter being a little rough with a C+ grade in my Calculus II class (hey, in my defense, I thought I was a math whiz from high school), I’ve done really well and have managed to make the Dean’s List every quarter! I have to admit though, I’ve lucked out with scheduling and picking out the right professors.
My number one advice for incoming college freshmen is to learn to love your library and to not neglect your studies in college!! Especially if you still have to apply for a major/get accepted into your major, whether it’s competitive or not.
Emotionally // Man, this year was a whirlwind. My fall quarter was pretty moderate with the usual stressful periods around midterm exams, as was winter quarter. I’m usually someone who is pretty good at dealing with their emotions – I’m not big on breaking down and crying at all – and I’m glad to say that I didn’t feel the need to so once this year. However, come spring quarter, I was pretty emotionally jumbled. I posted about it first here and then here. I’m fine now, but it was just kind of something I didn’t forsee going into my freshman year.
I’ve also had to deal with rejections at multiple times of the year. Let me tell ya: college is one never-ending application process. There are applications for literally everything you can think of: clubs, leadership positions, fraternities, study abroad, jobs, etc. I obviously do not have a 100% success rate, but I’ve learned to find alternatives and to jump through the hoops. It always helps to remind myself that things are meant to turn out the way they do.
Socially // None of my closest friends came to college with me, so I knew I had to make new friends. I’m embarrassed and ashamed to admit this, but I was so antisocial my first quarter. I talked about my biggest regret in this post, but in summary, I regretted not joining a sorority. I’m not saying joining a sorority would give me instant friends at all – I just wish that I was put in a situation that would force me to engage with other people.
I’m not one to initiate socializing with others, so I usually have to be put in the situation as the little push. Come winter quarter, I definitely became a little more social when I found fellow bloggers on campus and joined a dance company, and by spring, I was definitely making the conscious effort to make plans with other people. And thank goodness for Seattle’s numerous and infinite number of coffee shops – they are the best way to socialize with others!
I also told myself I wouldn’t date anyone my freshman year, just because it’s an experimental year and I’ve heard from others that being with an SO during college really limits your opportunities to spend with other people. But little did I know that I’d find myself dating someone in April – and a short-lived one at that. I talked about it here, and needless to say, I can say that I learned to not rush into things so fast.
Physically // HAHAHA. HA. I was so good about exercising during fall quarter. I’m not even kidding, I went to my school’s gym and worked out 4+ times a week. I was fit, and I was eating really healthy, since I was still on that health kick I had in the summer. Come winter quarter though, I took a dance class as an elective and thought that was enough exercise so I didn’t go to the gym as much, and drank TONS of London Fogs (which has tons of cream) and definitely ate more junk food (Hot Cheetos, anyone?). So… that didn’t go as well.
During my spring quarter, I was like, oh shoot, summer’s almost here, so I got better at going to the gym at least twice a week, and continued taking dance classes and going to dance rehearsals. I had phases where I wouldn’t eat anything unhealthy, but then there were weeks where I had cup noodles twice in a week.
I’d say the “freshman fifteen” isn’t really a thing – unless you really have zero self-restraint. MAKE YOURSELF EAT THAT SALAD. The majority of my dinners this year were all the dining hall sandwiches, which are actually pretty healthy. I stayed away from the burgers, fries, and pizzas. Go me!!
Professionally // I entered college knowing approximately zero things about networking and the professional business world, but being admitted as a business major was really amazing, since I was thrust into this world of blazers, etiquette dinners, and LinkedIn connections. The amount of practice I’ve had with networking, interviews, and professional events has me convinced that I have hope in the future being in this major!! I’m completely grateful and humbled to have gotten the chance to do office visits at prestigious corporations this year, those of which have gotten me incredibly about my future. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed how my university has prepared me thus far, and I can’t wait to grow more.
So there you have it! I’m pretty happy with the lessons I’ve learned this year, and hopefully I’ll keep them in my back pocket so I can continue to grow from my reflections next year.
What reflections have you made about yourself this year?