I can’t believe that it is already March 29th. I can’t believe that in three days it will be April 1st. What is even harder to grasp is that in exactly one month from that, it will be the last day of classes, and my freshman year will be effectively over.
I remember this time last year when I was a senior in high school. I didn’t even know that I had been accepted into William and Mary, let alone that this is where I would end up. I was just so ready to graduate and try new experiences. My freshman year hasn’t let me down in the slightest. I have been challenged; I’ve grown; I’ve made mistakes; I’ve learned; but most of all, I’ve had fun. College is all about the experience, and I’ve definitely had that here.
William and Mary has challenged me in so many ways, as both a person and as a student. It is easy to see how a college can challenge you as a student: the academics alone are enough here. Making a transition from a high school learning style to a college one is also difficult, and learning time management is something I still struggle with constantly. What isn’t as easy to see is how a school can challenge you as a person, but it is something everyone faces. When in college, there are opportunities available to you that were not there before, and though these chances can be both good and bad, they shape you into the person you are. At William and Mary, I have been challenged to become involved in activities and organizations that I would never have previously tried.
I’ve grown into more of an adult at William and Mary. Everyone grows as a person when they transition from living at home to living in a dorm away from their parents, but I feel like the leap has been greater for me. I’m not from Virginia; my home is six hours away in South Carolina. I can’t go home as often as other students, and my parents don’t get to come up and see me if I get sick. While is it is a difficult transition, I have realized just how much I can do on my own, and how independent I can be. I’ve had to take responsibility for my actions in a way I never have before, and even I can see how this is making me into a more mature person. My relationship with my parents has changed as well. I am the oldest of three children, and seeing how I interact with them in relation to my 16 year old sister and my 13 year old brother is very interesting. College is definitely the time in your life to be independent, and I believe every student takes advantage of it. But, when you reflect on how you were when you entered college to where you are at the end of your first year, I think it surprises everyone.
Everyone makes mistakes, and college students make plenty. Whether your mistake is academic in nature, or more personal, making poor decisions is something everyone does. The best part of making these decisions is that you learn from what you did. Not all learning in college takes place in the classroom or library.
I can’t even begin to describe the fun I’ve had in college. Meeting new people and becoming involved is only the tip of the iceberg. All I have to say is just get out and try everything. It’s the only way to take advantage of your college experience.
I have no regrets about my freshman year; I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s just really weird to think that it is almost over. I spent most of my junior and senior year of high school thinking and dreaming about college and what it would be like. It’s not only surpassed all of my expectations, but it has made me realize how excited I am for the future.