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Looking Back

My freshman year wasn't wild or crazy, but it was still a new experience

By Alaina Burris
On May 4, 2019

Photo by Alaina Burris

This year was my first year in college. It was my first time living away from home, living with a roommate and actually being an adult, having to cook for myself and clean, not just my space, but a shared space amongst four people.

I expected to meet people who were only in it for the parties or because their parents made them; I expected to meet people who only cared about their sport or were so academically driven that the time of day had to be given to them through the quadratic formula. I expected my professors to be harsh, strict and rude, and I expected the staff to be the same.

What I expected is so much different than what actually happened.

I experienced being away from the people I’m comfortable with and the people who I love. But being away from those people allowed me to let more people, new people, into those areas of my life. This year, I met people from all over the country; all over the world, even.

I met the party-goers, but I realized that they were also the ones working their butts off to get at least a B average. I saw the different sides of people: the side they have when they’re in class and the side they have with their friends. I met the people who seem to care more about their grades than anything else, but I found out they’re also the ones that it’s most fun to play Cards Against Humanity with.

I met all these new people, but I also met a new me.

I have changed over the last year, in a pretty good way, I think. My senior year of high school, I wasn’t responsible or money conscious; I didn’t know how to budget or only get exactly what I needed. I was reliant on my parents and grandparents for everything. This year, I realized that a container of Clorox wipes is far more important than the pint of Ben & Jerry’s I’d rather get, but I had to learn that needs are prioritized over wants.

This year, I’ve been testing out my adulthood. For the first few months of school, I called my mom to literally ask if I could go do something, even though I didn’t need to. Now, I’ll just let her know what I’m doing so she doesn’t accidentally call me while I’m busy. I’ve had to learn how to spend my money wisely and be disappointed in myself when I can’t afford something.

In the last eight-and-a-half-ish months, I have grown up quite a bit. If I can do that in one school year, I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen over the next three.

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