Reflection on First Year

It’s done…where did the time go? First Year of college has been over for about two months now, but I wanted to look back and reflect on what was arguably the most fun, challenging school year of my life.

Going into my First Year at UVA, I didn’t really have high expectations. I didn’t expect some Project X type parties to occur every weekend. I just went in hoping that I’ll find a solid group of friends to hang out with and just have a good time while maintaining my academics.

I’m the type of person to struggle with something new in the beginning, but to gradually learn to become better at it and I think this habit of mine was definitely evident during my first semester of college. First semester was pretty rough for me in terms of academics. I struggled to maintain the grades I wanted in the beginning of the semester. I really struggled with time management because I wanted to try out a bunch of different organizations and attend every single event due to the fear of missing out (FOMO) I have so often. In the beginning, I checked out several different cultural organizations, such as Korean Student Association, Vietnamese Student Association, and Chinese Student Association (CSA), but I found that CSA was the best fit for me. The people there were really welcoming and everybody was very chill, which I really liked. I tried to go to every single CSA event there was (and believe me, there were a lot), which really made me struggle with time management. I also tried to go out every weekend to frat parties or just parties in general to meet new people and have some fun. This habit of mine really backfired as I struggled with my academics and ended first semester with a pretty lousy GPA. I had told myself that I would balance my social life with academics, but I felt as if I was prioritizing my social life over my studies, which was not what I intended to do. Something needed fixing.

As I learned from my mistakes from my first semester, my second semester was much better academically. Because I was now accustomed to the rigor of UVA and how to study, I did a better job of managing my time. However, as the semester went on, I decided to drop the pre-commerce track I was pursuing because my grades were not competitive enough and I just didn’t think it was my calling. Therefore, I am currently undecided in my major, but during this summer I have been considering what academic path I should pursue next. College has been quite frustrating academically to say the least. I think part of this frustration can be attributed to how many students go from being at the top of their high school to being an average student at UVA. I believe that this circumstance definitely applies to me, but I think this adds to the challenge of college.

I guess I have some regrets about First Year too. I regret not studying more for my classes. I regret not befriending more people. I regret not calling home as often as I should have. I regret being judgmental towards some people. I regret not going to more parties. However, I also regret going to some parties. My regrets are endless. However, I have come to embrace these regrets because I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Therefore, I believe that despite the regrets I may have, everything will work out in the end. One relevant quote that I often recite to myself is: “Disappointments are God’s way of telling you that He has something better in store for you.”

Despite the fact that First Year was quite rough at times, I think it was a beneficial experience because I learned a lot about myself. I’m glad my family has always got my back and I appreciate them being there for me in times of hardship. I also know God has a plan for me so I put my trust in His hands because I know He will lead the way.

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