How I survived my first semester of college

By Kristin McKee
Torch Correspondent

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The Roosevelt Library is a great place to study. Photo by Kristin McKee.

There is no doubt that college is a game changer. Stepping into Roosevelt as a freshman this past August, I had no idea what to expect nor did I know how I would adjust to this new world. Nonetheless, I was excited to see what was in store for me.

Through mountains of essays, projects, social events and mental breakdowns, I am proud to say that I managed to get through them all so far. It has definitely been a rocky road but there was no other way to learn than to drive down it.

The first thing I learned about how to survive college was to break out of your comfort zone. All my life, I have been afraid to talk to people. I wanted to change that more than anything. I started off with simply walking up to people and saying, “Hello.” As a result, I have met quite a lot of people. It helped me realized that everyone was in the same boat as me. They were also scared of college life and whether or not they would be able to make friends.

One important thing I learned about making friends is that it is a process. Chances are that you will not meet people you connect with at first, and that is okay. Give it time while also branching out to others.

Breaking out of my comfort zone also meant trying new things. The biggest step I took in this plan was joining the newspaper. Never in my life had I participated in anything related to journalism, and to my surprise, I found a real passion for it. As I continue to write and explore the journalism world, I brainstorm goals pertaining to what I want to contribute to Roosevelt and what I want to contribute to the world once I graduate.

The next thing I learned about surviving college was to really participate in your courses. This goes beyond simply raising your hand to answer a question during a session. What I have noticed with professors is that they really try to make an impact on their students. Be attentive during lectures and ask questions about further explanation or share your own ideas about the subject.

What also really helps is building a relationship with your professors. Visit them during their office hours for extra help or advice; that is what they are there for.

Probably the most important thing I have learned while in college is to take good care of yourself. There are many aspects of college that are stressful and nerve-wrecking. When you are feeling overwhelmed, take a breather.

It is also important to take one step at a time with anything in your agenda. As long as you manage your time accordingly, nothing about college should be rushed through.

Overall, college is an exciting new world to make connections and discover yourself, and for the freshmen, this is only the beginning.

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