College,  mental health

Reflections from My First Month in College

I’ve officially been in college for 3 weeks! 

I have a couple of thoughts:

One// It takes a while to settle into a routine

I’ve moved in on August 18, so as of writing, I’ve been at college for 24 days, and I still don’t have a routine. I’m not really working out, I haven’t quite figured out my morning routine, and I don’t have a good study schedule – and that’s ok! Things aren’t magically falling into place, and they don’t need to. I’m prioritizing the important things to me: completing my assignments,  sleeping enough, and eating well. 

Two// Don’t overload your schedule

A bit of backstory: an upperclassman told me “Adjusting to college is like a 3 credit class in and of itself”. At my college, the average class is 3 credits, so in a typical semester, a student would take 15 credits (aka 5 classes). This is actually really great advice. I registered for 5 classes originally: calculus, Spanish, a political science class, a writing seminar, and beginner macroeconomics. Also, my advisor told me to only take 12 credits, but alas, my hubris got in the way. You can call me Icarus. And y’all, I was stressed. It felt impossible to juggle the readings from my poli sci class and my writing seminar. My math and Spanish classes were challenging. Now add all of that on top of moving to a new state, nonstop 90-degree days, making new friends, and joining orgs (short for organizations, meaning extracurriculars – clubs and such). I dropped my writing seminar, and – I kid you not – it was like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. 

Three// It’s ok to not have friends immediately

I’m not sure if I’ve met my “future bridesmaids” yet and that’s ok. I’m just working on being friendly and inviting people to hang out. I think if you don’t mind doing something with another person, then you should do it with another person. For example, going to the gym? Ask someone if they’d like to come with. Studying? Do it in a place with other people like a study room in your dorm or the library. Going to the dining hall for a meal? Go with another person or join a group of people when you get there. 

Four// It’s ok to not want to go out

There have definitely been days when I just can’t be bothered to go out to the game, dinner, party – whatever. It’s so important to get rest and do what your body and mind need. Knowing your limits is good and healthy. Some days during orientation and the first few days of classes, I would get back to my room, and my feet would be aching, my forehead beaded with sweat, and my body borderline dehydrated. On those days, I would close my door, sit in front of my fan, and put on an episode of the Big Bang Theory. Although I wasn’t out being social, I was doing something equally healthy – resting. 

Five// Be nice to everyone you meet and do not gossip

Everyone is new and scared. Making snap judgments about people is not a good way to make friends. Just be nice and kind and ask other people questions about themselves. And for the gossiping part, it just reflects badly on you. Other people will think that you’re mean which will make it even harder to make friends. It’s worth it to just squelch any unsavory feelings you have for other people because venting those frustrations will likely do more harm than good. 

Just some reflections on starting college. I’m about to take my first calculus midterm. Wish me luck!

Sincerely,

Marie 

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