Lessons from first college year

Six macroeconomics and philosophy classes. Four geology and news writing classes. Four finals. Nine?teen days. That?s it. That?s all I have left of my first year of college.

While it?s scary to look back at how fast the time went, I can?t say I?m disappointed my freshman year is coming to a close. It?s been a crazy, stressful, emotional and educational 10 months and I?m definitely ready for a break.

As the high school seniors this year prepare for graduation, I can?t help but look back at where I was last year as a fresh graduate and compare it to where I am now. The list of differences is huge. I have learned so many things that I could probably fill at least two columns, but I?ll just list some highlights here.

1. I?ve learned that it?s OK to change my mind. When I was in high school, I heard the statistics of the number of students who change majors and/or schools over and over again. I?d usually just shrug that information off and think, ?That won?t be me because I know exactly what I?m doing.?

I?m now the epitome of those statistics. Within a week of beginning college, I switched from the University of Missouri to Kansas State University. After only one semester I changed my major from journalism to secondary education. I?ve changed my plans from being anchor of the ?Today Show? to being a high school journalism and math teacher.

2. I?ve learned that it?s true that when God closes one door he?ll open another one. As is obvious from my list of changes, God closed several doors I thought I wanted open. But he also opened so many more.

I?ve become involved with a campus ministry called Cru (formerly Campus Cru?sade for Christ). Through that, I have met so many amazing people and have had so many awesome opportunities, including being accepted as a student ministry team leader for next year.

With my secondary education major, I?ve also had a lot of cool opportunities. As a future journalism educator, I traveled to San Diego a few weeks ago to the National Journalism Convention to help with the Journalism Educators Association, which is headquartered at K-State. I?ll have the opportunity to travel to a different city every semester with JEA until I graduate.

3. I?ve learned that living in the dorms is not for me. I?ve talked to many people who have enjoyed their time living in residence halls, but that is not the case for me. A large part of my bad experience with the dorms is probably due the roommate situations I had (I?ll spare you the details).

I can?t wait to live in a house next year with two of my awesome new friends. I can?t wait to have a kitchen and a living room and to be able to park right outside of my door rather than a 15-minute walk away. Let?s just say I definitely won?t be sad to leave my dorm for good here in a few weeks.

This is a small sample of the lessons I?ve learned this year. I?ve also learned a lot about stepping out of my box and about being myself. And while I?ve been learning these valuable life lessons, I?ve also been stuffing my brain with knowledge about geology and history and economics and philosophy and more.

If you?re reading this and you plan to go to college in the future, whether it be this August or years from now, I hope you can take something away from the lessons I?ve learned. There will be plenty more lessons for you to learn, as there will be for me. Because that?s what college is all about: learning.

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