It is almost difficult to believe that my first semester of college will be over in about a week. I have done a lot of growing as an individual over these past sixteen odd weeks. Throughout this paper, I would like to discuss some of my expectations and actual realities of college, what I have enjoyed or disliked so far, and future improvements.
When I first got to South, I felt that there was an immediate expectation placed upon me. I felt that the only way to make my family proud was to make straight A’s and excel in all of my courses. I knew they wanted me to do well, but it took me a little time to realize that they were just proud that I was in college and trying by best. As for making A’s, it was more difficult than I had anticipated. I learned to accept lower grades because it directly reflected how much I studied or understood the material. Also since I got out of high school only a few months ago, I was used to starting classes at 8 AM so I thought that I could do it in college. I cannot tell you how wrong that was for me. Having classes at 8 AM was possibly one of the most unfavorable decisions I have made. Overall, I have slowly learned to change my expectations because I know the reality might be completely different than what I expect to happen.
One thing that I really like about college so far is having a sense of freedom. I have the freedom to do what I want and when I want, but that is obviously within measures that wouldn’t have me questioning my morals or ethics. This goes hand in hand with the previous point, but I also like being able to make my schedule the way I want it for the most part. I can now choose to not have classes until after lunch or even have them at six o’clock if I really wanted. Another thing that I have enjoyed so far is being involved with an organization on campus. This semester, I am in AED and look forward to continuing it all throughout college. Additionally, there is something for someone to get into whether that is a club or sport. Also, I have really been enjoying my biology and chemistry labs. I think it is the hands-on learning that I really enjoy. There is only a few things that I can think of that I do not like about South. The first is how unreliable the JagTran can be at times. It seems as if whenever you need a specific JagTran, that one will be the last to show up. Another problem I have is parking, especially for the residential pass. I am usually having to drive around about three times to find a spot remotely close to my dorm. It was particularly bad when classes first started, but it has gotten better. My last complaint about South is how one gets a parking ticket of forty dollars even though we are paying tuition on campus. I have mixed feelings about it, but I can see both sides of the spectrum. All in all, I think there are more things to like than to dislike here at South.
There are definitely many improvements that I want to make throughout my time here. I undoubtedly need to learn a little more about time management. That would come in handy when I try to study for exams and finals. I also need to acquire the skill of better notetaking. I am the person that tries to write everything down from the slides and will not really look at them too much after the class is over. Something I might be able to try to implement is reading the chapter and take notes. Everything I do not get from the textbook, I am sure to get in lecture. Additionally, I am going to start taking advantage of all the resources available to students such as tutoring. Along with that, I am going to try to grow out of being afraid to ask the professors for help if I need it. Overall, I have a more solid plan of action over the next semesters and I will continue trying to implement new learning strategies.
In conclusion, my first semester of college has gone rather well. I have learned a lot in class and also about myself, but there is still plenty for me to learn. Next semester, I am going to challenge myself and step out of my comfort zone more than I have. I cannot wait to see what the rest of my years at South has in store because it is only just getting started.