After a winter break from blogging as well as the real world, I’m back (even though spring semester classes don’t start for another week)! I’ve been from Disneyland to Steamboat and back to Texas, so before I go back to school, I’ve decided to reflect on the things I learned during my first semester of college. This is by no means a complete list, but I hope to hit the most important points.
1. Work ethic isn’t easily/quickly changed
I was surprised to find out upon arrival that not everyone’s work ethic is as good as I’d expected. I think everyone here works hard, but some people had to make a substantial effort to change their study/work habits. Though high school students are constantly bombarded with warnings about how much more challenging a college workload is (volume and difficulty), I think the ones with a good work ethic will find that the transition is relatively seamless because the right attitude is already ingrained in them.
2. Nobody’s around the corner waiting for you to screw up
When I was in high school, I felt like many of the teachers/general staff members were constantly looking for people to bust. I, being a goody-goody, was constantly holding my breath, terrified of inadvertently breaking some sacred-but-pointless rule. Now I have room to breathe–as a college student, you’re pretty much left to your own devices. As someone who’s always been pretty responsible, I’m still confused as to what differentiates 19-year-old me from 17-year-old me because I feel like I haven’t changed much in the broadest sense, but I’ll gladly take this new freedom.
3. Some people aren’t completely comfortable on their own
And that’s totally understandable. Us freshmen have just begun our foray into young adulthood–it’s a change that takes getting used to. However, I’ve noticed that the people who have the easiest time are the ones who don’t mind, or even value, spending time alone. College is obviously about more than education or even social life: it’s also about becoming comfortable with who you are (assuming you figure that out as well). I’ve only been at Cornell for a semester, but I’ve learned a good deal about myself that I only half-knew before.
4. These four years are gonna fly by
I can’t even believe it’s already been a semester. Especially knowing that I want to study abroad, I can tell that my time at Cornell will be over before I know it. Keeping that in mind, I’m gonna try to stay in the moment, because soon I’ll be looking back on my collegiate experience like it was all a dream. The best part about college is that you’re on your own, but you haven’t yet been thrown into the real world. It’s fantastic and it certainly won’t last forever, so I want to do my best to make the most of it.
Tomorrow, I go back to Ithaca. I move back into my small but homey dorm room, I get to hang out with my roommate again, and I’ll finally see some snow again. I’m going back early to rush, which I’m equally excited and apprehensive about. I’m not quite sure what to expect, but I know it’ll be a truly unique experience. And seeing as I leave in a matter of hours, I should probably start packing now.