College is a life changing experience. Here are some of the things that I have learned after my first year at Regent University!
For many people, college is a time they have looked forward to their whole lives while others completely dread the thought of finally being on their own. I have always been a bit of a mix; I knew I was going to college, but was never sure exactly where until about my junior year in high school. The thought of finding that one thing you’re good at that you ultimately hope to do for the rest of your life is massively intimidating, but with God’s guidance and help from your parents, teachers, and advisers, it is totally possible to figure out where to go to school, what to major in, and even more so what career path to take. Taking all that advice, and lots of prayer, I was finally ready for college. I just didn’t know exactly how much I would learn in my first year here.
College is completely different than high school
I had heard this a million times but never actually knew what to fully expect until I started college. For me, choosing a smaller private college has been one of the best decisions I ever made. I love the fact that professors are willing to help if needed, but overall you have to have a good work ethic to survive college classes or else you will fall drastically behind. You are not going to be hand-held the same way you were in high school – and something about that is totally refreshing. Scheduling classes for the time of day that works best for me has been a huge help when it comes to getting my work done. Personally, I am much more alert in the morning than the afternoon, so I prefer morning classes. That way I can stay focused more in class and still have the rest of the day to finish any work I have to get done or have time for an extra-curricular activity (like writing for the Daily Runner).
It was worth taking AP and dual enrollment classes in high school
All the blood, sweat, and tears that went into taking these impossible classes totally paid off. I am set to graduate in May 2020, a whole year earlier than expected, and I have to say it’s a great blessing God has given me disguised as hard work. It also helps with keeping the cost of schooling down too, so remember, if you’re currently in high school, all the hard work you’re doing now for these classes WILL pay off later.
You immediately become a lot more independent than you were before
I have found this to be very true. If I am hungry, I have to cook something; if I am going somewhere, I am much more conscious of the money I am spending. Ultimately, I am making the rules for how I am going to be living the rest of my life.
Cooking is not all that hard, really
When it comes to cooking, I have found a few different dishes that I make really well, and they are not all that hard to make. I have always loved to bake, so that is something I already knew how to do. I knew, however, that I needed to find some other types of food with nutritional value in order to survive. (I have to say, I make some pretty mean beef tacos, and even figured out how to make my own lo mein noodles one night). Cooking has also been a wonderfully fun thing to do with my roommates, and lots of memories that I will have for the rest of my life will be from a cooking adventure with these girls.
If your friends are true friends, they won’t abandon ship when college comes around
When some people go off to college, they leave everything from their past behind them and never look back. Depending on a person’s circumstances, this can be a good thing, but for the average eighteen-year-old, going to college can be scary if they think they will lose their friends. I can say, that my closest friends pre-college era are still my friends today because we mutually put in the effort to make the friendship work. Just remember, if a childhood friendship is meant to last it will. Don’t try to force it either, because that will put you in a bad position. Know that the ones who are meant to stick around will, and if not many, or any do, then take pleasure in the fact that your friends in college are going to be that much more valuable to you.
I am seeing myself in a different light
Before going to college, I didn’t realize how dependent I was on the opinions and advice of the people that I saw on a daily basis. Going to school, meeting new people, and being on my own has made me realize why everyone thought of me a certain way; I finally understand why I am who I am, and something about that, although it felt foreign at first, has become a really great thing for me to finally see myself as my own person.
I have become closer to God
I have been a Christian for many years, but when I finally started taking more classes regarding theology this year, I learned so much more about Him than I ever could have imagined. I have to say, if you’re going to attend Regent University, please pay attention in any type of general education class that regards God’s goodness; your mind will continue to be opened up to all the wonderful things that He has done for the world, and even more so, for you. I enjoy having Chapel and Unchapel during the middle of the week as a time to worship God with other believers. Overall, I have learned to listen even more carefully to God. He has shaped me, molded me, and changed my heart in ways that I could have never imagined.
Going to college, as scary, new, and transitory as it is, has also been one of the best experiences of my life. I have felt like I have been molded into a much better model of myself, and I hope to continue to grow in my independence and in my faith in God.
Abby Trivett is a contributor to the Daily Runner.