As winter break speeds by and the start of second semester looms ever closer, it’s hard not to remember all of the mixed emotions before the start of our very first semester of college. Amongst excitement and nerves was the ever present fear, and it was hard not to worry about absolutely everything since we had no clue what to expect. Did we choose the right school? Will we make friends? What if classes are too overwhelming? Now that we’ve all survived our first semester, we have some college experience under our belts, and while we are hardly experts, we at least know more of what to expect next time around. With that being said, there is a lot less to worry about second semester.
1. Roommate drama.
Unless you have a new roommate for second semester, you already know what to expect based on your experience living with them your entire first semester. If you’re lucky, you have established a friendship with your roommate and are looking forward to another semester living with them to further build upon your friendship. However, some of you are probably dreading the thought of another whole semester filled with roommate drama, but even then, you know what to expect this time. If you have problems with your roommate, maybe you can try to resolve them and keep an open mind this next semester, or, at the very least, remind yourself that you survived first semester and that one more semester really won’t be the worst thing in the world.
2. Getting lost on campus.
Well, not too lost anyway. Small campuses are easy to get around, but bigger schools will probably remain a confusing maze up until the day you graduate. However, you managed to find your way first semester when everything was new and overwhelming, so second semester should be a piece of cake (quite literally, the cafeteria is probably one spot on campus you could find from anywhere, so you can always have your cake). As for classes, a lot of them will probably be in the same buildings as some of your previous classes, so you know what you’re doing. If not, you still having nothing to worry about. Based on the places you do know, try and locate some of the new buildings before your first day of classes. You’re not new and inexperienced anymore — keep that in mind.
3. Struggling with classes.
Obviously second semester means new, potentially harder, classes than first semester, so they could still be a bit of a struggle. However, after one semester, you should be acquainted with how office hours work and all of the resources around on campus to help you do your best in all of your classes. Whether it's math or science tutoring, some form of a writer’s workshop or even just stopping by your professor’s office hours for extra help, you know no matter what that there are plenty of people around campus who want to help you succeed. You aren’t alone because even though it is your sole responsibility to get all of your work done in order to pass your classes, professors, tutors and other students will be there to help make passing as easy as possible.
4. Making friends.
For some people, including me, making friends isn’t always an easy process. Preferring a comfortable, introverted lifestyle is not necessarily the best mindset to make new friends, so I was definitely pretty worried at the start of first semester that I would turn into a full blown loner. However, the great thing about college is that all different types of people live together or take classes together, so everywhere you go, you are bound to find people similar to you. After one semester, hopefully you made a lot of new friends, but if you still aren’t satisfied, second semester will be full of new classes and opportunities to meet new people who could be just like you, or, better yet, people who are completely different. Having a wide variety of friends is the perfect way to learn more about different people from all walks of life, so instead of worrying about not making any friends this semester, focus on strengthening the relationships of the friends you have made or reaching out to someone new.
Ultimately, we all hope to have chosen the right college that will take us to all the places we have ever wanted to go and further our education towards achieving our dreams. We all want to feel that sense of belonging wherever we chose to go, and that’s something you can’t really feel until actually experiencing college life firsthand. Hopefully, most of us adjusted really well to college life at our respective colleges so that we feel like we truly do belong and made the right choice. If the college of your dreams didn’t live up to your expectations or you never were sure in the first place about your decision, there’s no need to spend another semester worrying about not belonging. Try to make the most of second semester until you can transfer to somewhere where you will finally feel that sense of belonging because at least you learned from your first year of college what you did or didn’t like or where you would be happier. No matter what, don’t worry. Make the most of your second semester.
Worrying is perfectly natural, as is straight up fear towards the unknown. However, we all managed to pull through our first semester, and we now know what to expect for second semester. Second semester will certainly come with its own set of struggles and trying times, but we have a lot less to worry about this time around. No matter your situation, try to enjoy it. After all, we are only college freshmen once.
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