All throughout high school I always used to hear the same quote, “Everything will be so much better in college.” I’m not denying that fact by any means, but as a current college student, I’d like to give you some of my insight of my college experience so far with one semester behind me.
My first semester of college was not the least bit easy as some people might have thought. Moving from my small town, driving 4 1/2 hours away to my college, and starting to make new friends was not a walk in the park by any means. Not only was I trying to assimilate myself to living in a freshman dorm with community showering, laundry, and kitchen area, but also trying to meet new friends as well. Now I have always been able to adapt to my surroundings pretty easily, but when you go from your own personal bathroom to sharing a bathroom with 25+ girls on your floor, it can be frustrating to say the least. Now I got assigned my own private room which I am eternally grateful for. This means I personalized my room as much as possible and can keep it at whatever temperature I want. This also allowed me to stack my beds so I could have more floor space to move around in.
Moving on from my dorm: classes. The first days of classes were pretty standard. Going over the syllabus, meeting all your fellow students, and of course, meeting your professors. Most of my professors first semester were alright, but there were some definite favourites in my mind. After getting lost at least 5 times on my way to class, I would finally find my right room. I was always told that the older students would be astronomically helpful when it came to finding your way around campus. This, however, was not the case. Most of the older students I asked for help, either had no idea where I was going, or couldn’t be bothered by a lowly freshman’s questions. Thank goodness there were information and guidance tents all around campus for the first week. To whoever kept answering my stupid questions, you are amazing.
I have always had a very strange sleep schedule even back as far as middle school. I always seem to be tired no matter how much I sleep I got or didn’t get, and no matter the amount of caffeine in my system. I do admit, I am the heaviest sleeper according to many friends and family. For this, I am truly sorry. But as we all know, college students statistically need more sleep than anyone else at this point in their lives due to the constant studying we are doing as well as homework, and other activities. There can be even more stress on us if we are an undecided major, minor, or just general anxiety about classes, relationships, and friendships. With all the factors of college we are dealing with, it takes a lot of energy out of us on a daily basis. Especially if we have more classes, work, or other activities on some days more than others.
Here are some tips for ways to better communicate with your college student:
- Please stop asking what we want to do with our futures: I know this is the question you are all DYING to know, but it gives us major anxiety up the wall even if we know what we want to do. The average person changes majors at least 3 to 4 times, this means our answers could vary from time to time depending on when you see us. Also, that is the number 1 question we hear all the time. So mix things up a bit please, would you?
- LET US SLEEP: I know you may think we are dead when you don’t hear from us for hours on end, but at least for me, I need as much as sleep as I can possibly get no matter what the situation. My friend brought up a good point when she said, “Why can’t my parents just let me sleep? I’m not doing any bad things, they know exactly where I am, and I am not widely spending their money. I don’t see a problem here.” Sorry Mom and Dad, but I cannot help but to agree. So the next time I sleep for forever, just let me.
- Listen to us: I know it sometimes seems like we’re in another realm of reality over here in college, but every now and then, shoot us a text, email us, or send us food for example. We like to know that we are loved, missed, and appreciated even if we get on your nerves a lot. Being under constant stress about our grades, or even comparing ourselves to other’s grades, we still need to know we still matter to you. So even if you just tell your kid, “I’m proud of you,” that can mean a world of difference to us.
- We still love you, even if we don’t talk to you as often as you would like: With all that we have going on, we may not be the most reliable of responders, but we will get back to you when we have time. And who can blame us? For some students they may have a multitude of activities on a daily basis such as school, homework, work, sorority/fraternity events, sports, or even clubs. (Refer back to point 3, last sentence)
All in all, with one semester of school behind me, I am getting more adjusted to college life, but still figuring out my place here and still trying to hang on to friendships where we are apart distance wise, and or going to different universities. College may be the “best years of our lives,” but right now, it’s just stressful and a little hectic, but we will pull through. But only with support from friends, family, and relatives.