Moving Into My First College Apartment

On Friday I took the leap and moved into my apartment!

We had brought almost all of my stuff on the 18th, so I packed up my truck with the few things I had left and drove myself to my University. I’m not gonna lie, driving away from my parents and home was so hard. Luckily for me the drive is about 45 minutes to an hour, so it wasn’t too bad. I know I’m really close, but right now it feels super far.

I’ve barely been here and I miss home so much. Since I’m a transfer student there wasn’t all the events that new freshman have. They did have a few, but I would have had to leave on Monday to be a part of them, and I wasn’t ready to leave then. I’m spent most of my time putting together the last few pieces of my apartment, but I’m feeling super lonely. I know this will get better and is just a normal part of leaving, but boy does it hurt. I’m so close with my parents, especially because of all my health issues. I’ve been so isolated for the past six plus years that I truly have no one else besides my family. Dealing with not having friends is tough, but this is the most lonely I’ve ever felt.

For now I’m just trying to keep myself busy. My problem is that I can only exert myself so much before I feel sick and have to lay down, but when I lay down I’m less distracted from my sadness. I’ve been forcing myself to keep doing stuff even when I feel bad because at least I feel a little more distracted from being sad. I’m sure when classes start this will get better though since I’ll have a lot more to occupy my time with. Class starts Monday so logically I know it’s really soon and things will feel better then, but in this moment time is passing incredibly slowly.

I have a roommate but we’ve barely been spoken to one another. I’m hoping we can get to know each other a little more this weekend, and that things improve on that end.

I know I made the right decision to leave home and try to attend college at a University, but home sickness makes you question everything. Seriously, no one tells you it will be this hard.  Let me know if you have any tips for leaving home for the first time!

 

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Advice for College Freshman

Since my first semester of college just ended, I thought I would share some of the things I learned. For reference I go to a local community college, I’m a biology major, and I got a 4.0 my first semester:

  1. It’s literally just lecturing most of the time

Maybe this is because I only look core classes my first semester (history 1301, biology 1406, english 1301, and math 1314), but all we ever did was lecture and test. In high school you do a lot of busy work and activities, but there is no free time or “fun” days in college. The only class that broke this rule was my English class, where we did a lot of group discussion.

2. Give yourself time in-between some of your classes

Monday, Wednesday, Friday I had History from 10:00-10:50, and then my next class, Algebra, wasn’t until 12:00-12:50. I used the hour in between them to study and do homework, and it was so helpful! It was a designated hour to just work, and it really helped me stay on top of everything. It can be difficult to work at home, and it’s easy to talk yourself out of staying after class to work, so making your schedule with breaks in between is ideal.

3. Take good notes

This sounds like a no-brainer, but honestly it’s so important. I basically spent the entire semester trying to figure out what note-taking strategy worked best for me. I would recommend doing hand written notes if you’re able to, because I definitely retain more info when I write something verses when I type it. I also really like the strategy of condensing your notes down to key information that you’re still working on learning before a test or major quiz. It’s much more effective to study the most important/most difficult information alone, than it is to study everything your Professor lectured over.

4. Take advantage of your resources

This is something I wish I would have done more of. At my college, we have a writing center, and free math tutors which I never used, but should have. Having free resources is something you will probably never get again after college, so take advantage of them! Also, if you have a disability like me, sign up for disability services. They may not be able to completely accommodate you, depending on your needs, but in my case they were super accommodating and happy to help.

5. Do Practice Quizzes/Tests

Taking practice quizzes and tests online is the main thing I used to study. Just reading and highlighting your notes if often not enough. My biology textbook came with a code for online study materials, which is what I used to practice. I like practice tests because you not only need to know the information for your exams, but you also have to know how to apply it.

 

These were the most important things I took away from my first semester in college, academically speaking. Are you in college? What are your tips for college freshman / college students in general?