With only a month left of my freshman year (how the hell did time fly so quickly?!) I can honestly say this year I’ve experienced more self growth than I have in my entire life. I’ve gained poise, confidence, maturity, independence, and a better self of who I am. If nothing else had worked out this year (but luckily things have worked out well, I love it here) I can at least end my freshman year with this huge improvement in my wellbeing. I’m not the only one who has noticed this either. My parents and other adults in my life like family friends note that I seem so much more mature and sure of myself. Here’s why your freshman year will make you grow so much:
- “Wait..I have to buy my own toilet paper? Why is it so expensive? Wait, Whole Foods is expensive? Food costs a significant amount of money?”: Maybe some people have different experiences with this, but I grew up with my parents buying the groceries. So it felt weird doing things like buying toilet paper and I almost feel like I didn’t have as much of a concrete idea of how money worked. I didn’t really realize how expensive food is. It kinda put things in perspective and made me less wasteful.
- “Oh god who are these people? I don’t know a soul..!”: Growing up and living in the same town my whole life, I knew so many people. I was very used to seeing familiar faces in my classes and even at local pizza places. Being placed in a new town with all unfamiliar faces scared me a lot. However, this pushed me outside of my comfort zone and majorly decreased my shyness. I’m still kinda shy, but having to meet hundreds of new people made me a lot more open and confident around people.
- “Hold on, so I don’t need a sick note from my mom to show all of my teachers?”: Nope. You can even just not go to class cause you simply don’t feel like getting out of bed. However, with this new sense of freedom and autonomy comes with responsibility. Teachers treat you like adults, not children. They won’t ask why you weren’t in class, you have to keep up with notes you missed and you waste money whenever you choose to not go to class. So even though it seems exciting to not have to go to class, your education is what you put into it.
- “Do you mind if I pee while you shower?”: This is something I never had to ask before living with roommates. I grew up living in my own room and with just one older brother, I never really shared much of anything, including space. So it was a weird, harsh adjustment to learn how to share a small space with limited privacy with three girls who I barely knew. However, it can even be kinda fun having roommates and I now have good organizational skills for living in a small space.
- Wiping my own tears, healing my own sickness, and tucking myself in: College is really all about independence. It can be fun being this independent sometimes, but when things get hard, you’ll wish you had your mom to help you out. However, this is part of growing up. You have to learn to be your own hero and your own source of comfort. For example, I got the worst cold of my life during college. I had to take a bus to CVS to get medicine and buy my own tissues. Usually my mom would be very caring towards me when I was sick and make me food and stuff. Although it was so not fun having sore abs from coughing so much and keeping tissues in my pockets for a month, it helped me become way more self-reliant.
- Home will never feel the same: I found this really hard to deal with emotionally. I cried the first time I came home and my family thought I was being dramatic as I tried to explain the emotional burden of having two homes “college” and “my house”. Coming home now feels strange, I love coming home and my hometown, but once you go off to college it honestly will never feel 100% like home. This is when I realized, maybe home isn’t a concrete thing, but more of an internal concept. Make a home in your heart and you’ll never feel alone.