What I Wish I Knew as a Freshman in College

As I’m entering my senior year of college (holy cow!), I’m thinking of all that the past 3 years have held. And what I wish I would have known as a freshman.

College is nothing like high school

Yes, when I was in high school people would say, “college is so much different” and “you’ll enjoy classes more in college cause they’ll be classes you enjoy taking and get to choose.” While that is true to an extent, I wish I knew a lot more! Nothing really prepares you for college, especially nothing in high school. Taking AP classes helped, but even those aren’t exactly like college is. High school does not prepare you for the level of difficulty some classes are. Sure you’re in a major you (hopefully) enjoy, but that does not mean that classes are easy and college will be a breeze. And honestly, I think it depends on your major and where you’re going to college at. Some majors are more difficult than others and some colleges are more difficult than others.

Not everything in high school lasts

As sad as this sounds, and is: not everything you have in high school will last to college. Friendships you had in high school may grow apart. Be grateful for those who have stayed by your side. Activities you did in high school may not fit into your busy college schedule. I miss choir and musical so much, something I loved doing in high school. I would have loved to join one of the choirs at Purdue, but I felt like I needed to dedicate more time to my classes and other activities, like small group and Nutrition Society.

Your gpa/grades do not define you!

Like I said above, college is h.a.r.d. You might fail a class and have to retake it. And although it feels like the end of the world at the time, you will make it through! Biochemistry was a huge struggle for me. I did terrible taking it spring semester of my sophomore year. I didn’t understand the material & didn’t feel like the professor did a good job explaining it. But, I also didn’t ask for help from the ta’s. I retook the class spring semester junior year and did SO much better. I ended up getting a B in the class, actually enjoyed the material & loved my professor (I had a different one this time, she was on leave when I took it the first time). Before the class even started, I met with the professor and told her my scenario. I continued meeting with her all through the semester and met with the ta.

Utilize your resources!

Again, I said this above but meet with your ta’s! They are there for a reason and most of the time want to help you and see you succeed! If they see you’re really making an effort in the class, they will help you!

Don’t get involved with everything

There are literally so many clubs you can get involved with while at college. Name something you’re interested in, and there’s probably a club for it. If not, you can start one! Since my time at college, I’ve realized that I can and should only balance a few activities aside from taking classes. I am involved with Purdue Nutrition Society and small group through the church I attend. Small group is weekly while Nutrition Society meetings are once a month (although I’m an officer so we meet a few more times). Although, this semester Trenton & I are hoping to take up swing dancing club!

Sometimes, 7:30 am classes are unavoidable…

Freshman year I had a 7:30 am chemistry lab that was not offered any other time. You will have classes like that. And as awful as they sound, and are, you will get through them! Last semester my classes started at 9:30 am everyday. Not too early, not too late. I would get up at 8:00 am which gave me plenty of time to get ready, cook a good breakfast & maybe study a bit before class.

Take a fun class every once in a while

Fall semester sophomore year my guidance counselor told me to take a class I enjoyed because my other classes were going to be more difficult and I needed a credit filler for financial aid. I’ve always wanted to take ballet since I was little, but the dance studio back home didn’t have it for my age group. So, fall semester sophomore year I signed up for Ballet I. The experience I had with that class was amazing! It’s an introduction to ballet class so literally anyone can take it. Individual range from those who have never had any dance experience to those who danced pointe for many years and everyone in between (me). Carol, the instructor was so sweet & gracious. I ended up taking the class again last fall because I loved it that much (and needed a stress reliever!). I had the instructor Melodie that time, who was also so sweet. Last semester I took Modern Dance I with Mary Beth, who was also an awesome instructor. I had never taken Modern Dance before and was unsure about it, but I loved it! I think it’s so important to take a fun/stress reliever class. In the midst of all the chaos of your other classes, it’s important to have one that you can “let loose” in.

Getting connected with a church/small group on campus is the best thing you can do.

This was something I did right from the start and helped more than anything. I heard about Purdue Christian Campus House from visiting before & also from a friend. I went that first Sunday at Purdue and have went ever since. Freshman and sophomore year I also got involved with Cru, a Christian organization on campus. Being involved with a church you’re interested in and feel at home with is so important. It gives you a place at campus where you feel welcomed & can meet fellow Christians who are going through similar experiences you are at the same time. Going to weekly small groups are so helpful and great study breaks too 🙂

If you fully believe God put this passion in your heart, He is going to get you through all the stressful times of college

This statement is what I learned the most from college and what I think is the most important. I still have to remind myself of this every single day. I fully believe that God used My Gluten Free Story for me to help others by becoming a Dietitian. I’ll be honest, college is not easy for me. Classes are not easy for me. I may not have the best gpa, but I have the passion, drive & a God who is so much bigger than all of my fears. He constantly is telling me to “pray more & worry less.” Keep praying to Him when college and classes are hard. If He lead you to your career path, He will make it happen.

You can’t go anywhere without a little faith,

Ciara