Everything changes going from high school to college. And Victoria thought she wanted to change too. That is, until she arrived on campus…
One of the great and terrible beauties of your freshman year of college is that you’re new to how everything works. You’re blissfully ignorant. Up until this point, you've been able to do the same old thing throughout high school. It worked for four years—the “same old, same old” should continue to work for college, right?
HA! Nice try.
I struggled as a college freshman to find a balance between trying to squeeze myself into my high school routine of yore while simultaneously trying to define myself as a new, more grown up college student. In fact, I think what I struggled with the most was recognizing and accepting that college was unfamiliar and that I didn’t know all the answers.
But I wasn’t comfortable with not knowing what to do. I wasn’t comfortable without my long-time friends around me. I wasn’t comfortable with being new. I was caught in a contradiction of wanting to maintain the same and desperately define myself as the "A” word—that’s right, adult.
One thing I was particularly concerned with freshman year was how I could fit extracurricular activities into my new, hectic college schedule. I was your typical “overachiever” in high school, involved with speech, choir, theater, volunteering, and Gay Straight Alliance, and I kept high grades. I thrived on being busy.
Now, in college, I was just overwhelmingly busy.
I decided it was time to do something. I took a step back and made a list of things I was really good at and things I knew helped me be successful. I discovered that I love routine, and I love schedules and lists. I invested in a planner and began to organize myself. Checking off assignments as I completed them made me well up with pride and accomplishment. I also realized that performing, especially in a musical capacity, helped me use my talents and also offered me a stress relief. I joined choir and became involved in the theater department and began to develop bonds with other active students and faculty.
By taking the time to recognize the skills and talents I possessed, I was able to create a college life and schedule that ultimately led to the creation of a college me. Of course, I periodically do some tweaking. It’s important to realize that nothing in nature can bloom all season long—and neither can you. You are constantly growing and constantly learning and constantly evolving. However, it’s important to put down strong roots to set up your future buds for success.
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