Reflections of a freshman

When the weather begins to warm up and everyone can be found studying outside, we know that the school year is coming to a close. This year has been my first at Maryville College.  Though it is not what I expected, I have to say it has been a successful one. In high school, I thought college would be much more about wild parties and staying up late (on the contrary- I have been to one small get-together and usually go to bed at nine).

For some people it may be about that, but what I have learned is that you shape your own college experience. I like to go home to Chattanooga almost every weekend. My family, friends and boyfriend live there and at this point, I am happiest seeing them frequently.

I am sure this will change as I become more comfortable, but something I have learned about myself this year is that I am a homebody. As far as my long(ish)-distance relationship goes, communication of what each of us needs is the most important thing. I would probably say that this goes for any relationship.

My pals at Maryville are great. I have about two or three of them. I have always been happiest with just a few very close friends rather than an array of them. The buddies I have made here are all very different from me. They are extraverted night owls who get involved in lots of opportunities on campus.

Being an introvert, for some reason I am drawn to louder personalities, which I think is a strength. Having friends who are different than me means I have vast opportunities to grow. They have introduced me to new shows (Criminal Minds is on Netflix- watch it) and different ways to get around (now I know how to avoid turning left onto East Lamar Alexander Parkway). I am looking forward to growing these relationships in my next three years at MC.

Becoming independent is a huge part of starting college. There are so many things I did not even know I would have to learn. Chiefly is the duty of controlling my insatiable urges to eat pizza and cookies for dinner.

For me, it is not hard to say no to going out to the Joe on a Sunday night, but resisting a Netflix binge is certainly something I have to work on. I have had to learn how to save my money. During my first semester, I spent almost all of my funds that I saved over the summer.

This being said, I got a job at a local dance studio, but still have trouble not buying pints of ice cream in the C-Store. I have also definitely gained the freshman 15, so working out is another discipline I am working on. For me, it seems easiest to plan a workout time with friends and hold each other accountable.

At the beginning of the year, I was scared. There is no way around that. I did not want to leave home. I cried and wished that my mom and dad were here. I still get homesick frequently and sometimes it feels like I am the only one who misses home. What I know, however, is that I am definitely not alone. The difference is that now I know how to cope a little better. I have a support network and strategies which help me to feel more comfortable with my independence. No matter what, we have all made it here.

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