8 Ways I Have Grown Over the Past Four Years…
Being a college student away from home teaches you a lot about not only the world, but more importantly, yourself. Here’s what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown during my time as a Fredonia student.
AH, FREEDOM! Obviously this one is a given, but boy is it a hard hitting feeling; no longer living under the roof of your parents with their rules and regulations, no curfews, no authority (besides your RA). When it was time for me to go to college, I felt beyond ready to move out of my house and start the next chapter in my life. I even had a countdown started as soon as I committed to Fredonia!
As a young adult, you are the ones making all the decisions from what they’re going to eat to what classes they’re going to take. I mean, yeah, I chose what I was going to eat before, but think about it, before college, we live in a world of structure. Yes college is still structure, but it’s your own life and you choose how to live it.
But you appreciate your parents after a few months…
I’ll admit it, when my parents left me on move-in day it was sad to say goodbye, but at the same time I was so excited to be free and on my own for the first time. Looking back, it’s somewhat funny how I was like “Okay guys, you can go now. I’m all set, BYE!” I was basically pushing them out the door as they left with their sunglasses on-crying their eyes out (Sorry mom and dad, I had to say it, and I know you’re reading. ☺)
After I got used to being on my own, I did start to miss the people who raised me for first 18 years of my life. Once I went home for the first time and had a home-cooked meal- incomparable to campus food- it was bitter sweet. Every time I catch up with my parents, I truly appreciate all that the’ve done for me and how they’ve prepared me for life. I also learned how cool they actually are, and how most of the time growing up, they were right about things. Always remember to give them a call once and awhile, they really appreciate it and I promise, it will make their day.
One thing people always told me is that college is nothing like high school, and they were so right. College isn't full of caddy drama or cliques. Yeah, their might be issues once in a while, but the thing is, no one cares anymore. No one knows who I was the past four years of high school and people are ready to start a new beginning.
Not to mention, earning a degree isn’t free. Even if you didn't like high school or going to class before, you better start because you’re only wasting your own time and money. As a college student, I loved going to class because I was learning about something I was passionate about. Now, I ‘m eager to get a job in the field that I love and have been working so hard in studying over the past four years. I know my time at Fredonia has taught me how to be an ambitious, motivated, and mature young adult.
Everyone is just like you
Freshman year is when I realized this. I wasn't too worried about making new friends because I consider myself more of a people person. However, most people are not as outgoing as me. I think it is important to remember as a freshman that many people come into college knowing perhaps a few people at most. Everyone is nervous, yet excited for this new beginning, and sometimes the transition can be tough.
When I came to Fredonia, I felt a sense of belonging. I specifically remember my dorm freshman year: a building full of girls. Everyone in my hallway became so close with one another because we had similar interests, wanted to make new friends, and honestly just wanted to have fun! Fredonia as a whole is full of friendly people, which made me feel so comfortable as a freshman. It really did feel like a second home for me, and that is a memory I will never forget!
People have also told me that the friendships made in college are the ones that will last a lifetime. I couldn't agree with this statement more. From roommates, to suite-mates, to housemates, I got to spend a lot of quality time with my college friends. We all learned so much about each other that sometimes it felt as though we knew and understand the group of friends more than we actually understand ourselves.
I’ve seriously felt like I have been on the sitcom “Friends” over the past four years because the living situations and friendships from that show can be similar to college lifestyle. I always find myself reading Buzz Feed articles about friendship and roommates and they’re 100 percent accurate.
Although it’s going to be extremely difficult and emotional to graduate, it isn't a “goodbye” to these friendships, it’s more of a “see you later.”
This is one thing that every college student will face. Between being a full-time student, involvement in activities, working, and a social life, it is definitely a balance. Although most of these things may have a scheduled time, it is up to you to figure out when you will do your research paper, study for a test, or go out with friends. As more of a proactive person, my best advice would be to get your work done first, then make time for yourself.
I believe in the motto of “work hard, play hard.” I must say, when I am out having fun, whether it be shopping, or out with my friends, the last thing I want to worry about is something that I have been putting off. I've also learned that when I do put things off, I don’t produce my highest quality work. Once you get into a routine, it will be easier to manage your time as a student.
Some of us students are lucky enough to have our parents send us a little allowance every once in a while, and some of us are not as fortunate. As a college student, you learn how important it is to manage your finances. I began learning this concept right away, Freshman year. I had to balance the number of meals I had each week along with the dollar amount of points, which would last me each week and throughout the semester.
As for actual money, I consider myself to be a hard worker. I worked part-time since the age of 16, and always have been pretty good when it came to my saving/spending ratio. During my sophomore year, I took it upon myself to get a part-time job and I think it was the best decision I have made. When I am involved in more activities, I not only manage my time better, but my money as well. I decided the money I made during my time as a student would be the money I would use for my personal spending so I wouldn't have to touch the money I had saved in the bank.
Living life to the fullest
College is the time to do so. It’s the time to learn about yourself and enjoy life. After college, as I’ve been told, is a time full of responsibilities and full-time employment. Take advantage of the people and things surrounding you. Do what you always dreamed of doing. Take a class you never thought you would. Explore your options. Intern, multiple times! Buy a new outfit. Eat that calzone at 1 a.m. and go ahead and make it 1 lb. for an extra buck. Study abroad. Explore the village of Fredonia. Don’t care about what others think of you. Make a bucket list. Be wild. Take risks. But most importantly, have no regrets!
I am leaving Fredonia feeling sad that my time as an undergrad is really coming to an end, but I don’t think I would change a thing. Between the memories, friendships, opportunities, classes, etc. I honestly have no regrets. I believe every college student should go into the real world after graduation with the same feeling. Enjoy your time as an undergrad, because believe me, your four years truly do fly by.