First semester of my freshman year of college… Check.
With the final grades being put in and the fact that I’ve been able to enjoy the luxury of home for nearly three weeks now, I have finally come to acknowledge the fact that I have completed what I thought was nearly impossible.
I am done with my first semester of college.
I honestly never thought that I was going to be able to make it through my first semester alive. At the beginning of my college experience, I set too high of expectations for myself, rather than giving myself time to adjust, which is necessary to many college freshmen.
Doing so acted reminded me that I am my own harshest critic. Growing up, my parents expected a lot of me, but they did not punish me when I didn’t succeed to their level of expectation. The common example of this is my academics. They expected me to maintain straight A’s, but when I failed to do so, they didn’t ground me for not meeting their expectations, instead they still continued to remind me of how proud they are of me for the smattering of A’s and B’s on my report cards. Though my parents did not bring me down during my moments of underachievement, I did the job myself and picked through the mistakes I made and the moments I knew I could have done better.
Living on my own for my first semester of college gave me the opportunity to critique myself even more on not meeting expectations. I entered the unhealthy cycle of expecting too much of myself, becoming overwhelmed of my own high expectations, procrastinating on achieving anything, ultimately failing in attaining what I wanted to do, then continuing to expect a lot of myself, and so on…
Those four months of first semester felt like ten years. I could feel myself slowly decaying as I forced myself to think on the bright side of things as I pursued courses in a major I knew I was not passionate about. I forced myself to go out too much that I reached to the point where I would hole myself up in my dorm room and avoid people as they knocked on my dorm room door. I felt ashamed of myself as I would push homework off to the wee hours of the night, despite the fact that when I first entered college, I swore to myself that my old high school habits would be broken.
Though I encountered a lot of trials and tribulations in the first four months of my freshman year, I am glad I was able to have that time to remember that I am human and I cannot expect to easily adapt into an extremely new experience. I need to experience pain and difficulty in this life, and shit, was first semester a lot of both. I grew a lot in my first semester, regardless of how much of a pain it was to experience, and for that I am thankful.
I’ve always been aware about thanking God for the difficulties in life, but now I have actually come to the point to do that myself. I am thankful that God has placed the experiences of first semester in my life, because I now feel confident entering my second semester of freshman year, knowing full well that I do not need to set up high expectations for myself, and that I shouldn’t.
As I spend this holiday break with my family and friends, they continue to remind me of my true passion and that is to live my life as wholly and passionately as possible. While I pursue a higher education, I constantly remind myself of how much of a privilege it is to be able to even have this opportunity that many others do not. While I continue to grow as an individual through my experiences, I remember that I need to invest myself in what I do each and every day because if it is not worth that much, then of course it is not worth my time.
So thank you first semester, for acting as a pain in the ass reminder in my life that I need to take things a day at a time rather than always think of things in the long run, because life is not meant to be rushed through; it’s a journey meant to be enjoyed all throughout my time of enjoying it until the very end.