I’m going to be completely honest here: I’m more upset to see my freshman year of college go then I was to see my freshman year of high school go. Nothing wrong with Saint Gertrude, it was just a tough year for me, transitioning and emotional hardships. But college though. College. Such learning. So tuition. Much busy. Wow. The SGHS to VCU transition wasn’t so bad, but I wish I had known a few things before:
- Saint Gertrude has prepared you for college (Actually, Saint Gertrude prepared you to rule the world, but the world isn’t quite ready for you yet so you should really stick to college for now). Classes aren’t hard, just compressed, just remember to show up and pay attention. True, colleges don’t have the calendar that Saint Gertrude teachers use to schedule tests around so I have, on multiple occasions, ended up with exams, quizzes, and projects due on the same day, but you have the tools to do them all well
- You can’t forget to take care of yourself. I ended up at the student health clinic more times in the past month than I have at my primary care doctor in five years all because I wasn’t taking care of myself. You have to eat real meals (not just apples and granola), and actually sleep. Trust me, good grades are all I care about too, but they can’t be my whole life. If stress didn’t get to you in high school, it will now, and it may appear now in the form of a high pulse and heartburn.
- Your professors are actually real people. Before college, I thought all professors had long beard like Dumbledore and had offices that looked like libraries and didn’t know any of their students. It took me a while to get used to my math professor last semester, a 20-something with an almost bowl cut and jeans because he looked like he could be one of us. And do you know who one of my favorite professors is? A bisexual woman who has her PhD in philosophy and has a soft spot for Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. True, I’ve never said three words to my lecture hall professors, but I can’t befriend them all (I did manage to get called out for talking in my huge lecture class- but that’s another story). Once I made the effort and finally got to know my professors, I felt like I could make a connection with them like at Saint Gertrude.
- At times, it feels like everyone is in a relationship. Sometimes I do sit around and cry with my friends over pancakes about everyone else’s relationship and why are we all single (hey cute boys we’re nice girls who like to bake), but I don’t let that last long. But that’s when I sit and think about all of my friends, and most of them are single. And I realize that I’m not alone. And that’s it’s okay to be single, especially when college is overwhelming and you’re pretty much in a relationship with your job because someone will come when the time is right. (Also, it has been concluded that art students and engineers are dumb. Now accepting other majors/VCU baseball players)
- Even in a school of 33,000 people, I don’t feel lost. Just crossing the street going to class the other day I ran into friends from class, the cute writing center tutor, and Luke (I tried to yell at you but you were too far away). 32,999 other students isn’t 32,999 people to get lost in, it’s 32,999 new friends to make! (But beware of those other girls also in love with your far-away love. He’s yours to never talk to and stare at as he walks by)
- You’re not the only commuter student. Commuters are like attractive guys, they’re everywhere. Don’t rush it, you’ll run into them.I think I know like twenty gajillion. You’ll band together and become friends because you’re sick of everyone saying “I’m sorry” when they hear you live thirty minutes away with your parents and have to explain that it’s actually okay.
- You’ll discover that you and your classmates have a lot more in common than just going to the same school. You have no idea how excited I was to find people who also understand the importance of singing and dancing to twenty one pilots in the parking deck, geeking out over Russian history, and love you for your other weird quirks. I love my Gertie girls, they’ll forever be special to me, but there’s something about VCU kids that I adore.
Wow, VCU I honestly have no idea how we got here. It’s been a roller coaster of good and bad, but I don’t regret anything. Lots of concerts, lots of new friends, and lots of tears. You really threw me through the wringer but I’ve almost completed my freshman year–so why not three to five more? I love this school, even if commuting wasn’t what I wanted, I made it work. At least I don’t have to leave my little city for the summer- that I can’t thank the Lord enough. One year down, way too many before I get my degree and go back to school with a cute little teachers desk.
Well, excuse me, I’m going to find Sean or Hannah to study and cry over exams with. GOOD LUCK EVERYONE WITH THE END OF YOUR FRESHMAN YEAR 🙂