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Freshmen wish their way through first semester

Bronlyn Holland, Editor in Chief

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College is a time to figure out who you are as a person. It is a time to learn what to do and what not to do when it comes to independency. After a few months in college, students wonder what life would’ve been like if they knew things or could to things prior to the first day of college. Former staff members share their top 10 wishes they wanted to know before entering this next season of their life.

Kayley Boan, University of Georgia

1.) Distance

“You don’t have to go to a different state to get away or have that out of home college experience and that’s something I didn’t realize until I was actually at UGA… because I applied to so many out of state schools for the sole reason that I didn’t want to go anywhere in Georgia… and right now I only live a hour and a half away, but it feels like an entirely new world. I’m like able to get that freedom and perspective but still have that luxury to go home and get a hug from my mom, because I didn’t think I’d need it but I do,” Boan said.

2.) Friendships changing

“Something I was afraid of was my friendships were going to change in college and even though they have changed…the ones that are important look different but they aren’t going to disappear like the relationship I have with Jess and Kaylee, even though they go to UNG in north Georgia, I probably talk to Jess every single day…so the ones the ones that are going to matter still stay the same and I shouldn’t have been so afraid that I’m going to lose everybody,” Boan said.

3.) Not everyone is your friend the first year

“You don’t have to make all your best friends in the first week of college. That was something that stressed me out was that I thought ‘if I don’t make all my friends in the first week like I’m not going to have any friends and I;m going to be here by myself’ and that’s really not true…they [other people] tell you ‘these are where you meet your bridesmaids, this is the time in life where you meet your husband’ and that just freaked me out…It’s really not like that. People come in and out of your life and you’re always going to have that time to build those relationships… It takes time to build those relationships, they’re not all going to happen in the first week,” Boan said.

4.) College does not mean high school with more to do

“College is not just high school with a little more freedom. I had this blind idea that since I was a good student in high school, college was going to be super easy for me. I thought I was going to be able to handle a job and have so much freedom and it was going to be the same thing as high school but without my parents down my neck, but no it’s a completely different ball game. It’s like comparing football to crocheting, like you literally can’t do that. The workload is hard…The people around you start to become a second family, because you’re around them so much… It becomes this whole different world. It’s a great new experience,” Boan said.

5.) No comparison in workload

“The workload is 10 times harder than anything that I’ve ever done in high school. I was  an all A student with little effort and now I’m like struggling to keep that high B and which the people who are with Zell, yeah C’s get degrees, but C’s don’t get Zell. I’m struggling to get that workload, I’ve had to adjust my standards for myself as to what it means for me to be smart and to perform my best and that’s something I wish I knew going into college, because it would’ve made that first test a little bit easier… I have yet to get an A in my psych class and that’s my only goal for this semester is to end the class with one test with one A and that’s all I need, so far it hasn’t happened yet and I’ve studied 10 plus hours for every test,” Boan said.

6.) Bringing unnecessary clothes

“Not to bring many clothes that aren’t t-shirts and shorts because let’s be real, that’s all I wear in college. In high school, you know I kinda dressed up some, it wasn’t that big of a deal… I don’t dress up unless I have no clean clothes. I would’ve brought less clothes to college,” Boan said.

7.) Homesickness

“Getting homesick doesn’t mean you’re weak, I didn’t wrap my head around it, because I didn’t get homesick until like the third week of college and it wasn’t just I missed my family, but I missed the familiarity of what it is like the people I was around… I wasn’t use to these new noises, these new people coming in and out of my dorm, and just knowing where everything is like the little stuff… I didn’t know my way around, so I thought if I got homesick in college, it meant that I had failed even though I didn’t. The more I thought about it the more I completely changed my whole life. Everything about myself has changed… It’s normal to be sad and so I had to tell myself ‘it’s okay. This isn’t wrong and I didn’t fail. This is normal’ and since I was able to recognize that as not a failure… I was able to get through it,” Boan said.

8.) Finding identity

“You hear that phrase in high school that ‘you find out who you are in college’ and I was like ‘that’s dumb I know who I am’, no, I had no idea who I was. I’ve learned more about myself these past two months than I ever had in all four years of high school just because… who you are and your values are really tested in college, because there’s so many different things going on around you, so many different opinions that you start to question like everything that you’ve thought and it can be a good question or it can be a bad questioning, but for me I feel like it’s turned into a good questioning… I’ve kinda gone through some hard situations back at home, at the campus, lots of stuff has happened and I’ve had to kinda deal with it on my own and it’s really showed my my character and it showed my how I function in this world,” Boan said

9.) Appreciation

“I wish I’d realized to appreciate the time I had with my family before I left, because it’s so normal that you’re with them all the time…you never really notice how important they are to you because they’re just there 24/7 and no matter how chaotic or hurtful or crazy or stressful or strict your family is, you’re going to miss them. You’re going to miss the familiarity of being home…I wish I had taken those little times to spend more time with my family… That time you get with them you’re never going to get back,” Boan said.

10.) Preparation with lies from high school

“There’s no such thing as a late assignment. Skipping class too much will kill your grade.

Writing papers in a college are more common than taking tests.”

— Kayley Boan

I’ve written more papers than I have taken tests. The whole stigma that you’re professors aren’t going to care about you- that’s a lie. The professors will care about you if you put in the effort, if you sit front row, if you go up and introduce yourself to them. I know my professors on a first name basis… One of my professors invited me to go to an Italian night out in the square. You have to put in that effort. They have a class of 300 plus students, they can’t put in that effort to every single person but the people who care, they’re going to put that effort in halfway, you just have to meet them there too… The word late is not in any college professor’s vocabulary. I promise that right now…I think that’s something high school really hasn’t prepared kids for, giving them so many exceptions and so many opportunities to turn in a grade, so that their graduation rate is higher…That’s just not how it works in college,” Boan said.

 

Mycah Howell, Georgia State University

1.) Independency

“Everything is basically your responsibility, so it’s your job to know everything, what’s good for you, what’s not good for you…because I’m still struggling with a few things,” Howell said.

2.) Saving

“I wish I knew how to save before I came to college…it’s [materials] not expensive, but you can’t get everything you want and you have to figure out how to get what you want without actually breaking bank,” Howell said.

3.) Not liking people

I really wish people told me how much you’re not going to like some people.”

— Mycah Howell

Everyone is not going to be your friend and you can’t make yourself like them,” Howell said.

4.) Difficulty

“I still haven’t made a lot of friends, like incredible, great friends. It’s really hard, because you won’t see them all the time and if you guys don’t see each other next semester, then you won’t see each other at all and you have to keep making new friends…I wish someone told me how difficult classes were going to be, because even though you’re learning, you’re basically learning the same thing that you learned in high school…I never knew it would be this much in this amount of time,” Howell said.

5.) Food

“I wish someone told me how bad the food is here. It’s very bland and it’s the same thing every day…Because it’s in downtown Atlanta, all the restaurants are like three dollar signs, so they’re very expensive,” Howell

6.) Time management

“Time management is so difficult. I mean it’s not too difficult, it’s like you wish it was easier. Especially when you have a job or really early classes or really late classes…you have to be independent,” Howell said.

7.) Homeless people

“It’s sad and they really ask for money and then when you don’t have money, you can tell they get upset like ‘I’m sorry I’m broke and you’re asking a college student and I’m sorry we can’t help you’,” Howell said.

8.) Costs

“I wish someone told me how expensive books were going to be. I never assumed books would be this expensive, 100 dollars for each and you have to buy them every semester depending on your classes. It’s never going to be the same book,” Howell said.

9.) The go-to’s

“I wish someone told me some really great places to get some cheap rentals…Those[class codes] are the textbooks, so those are like 100 to 200 dollars if you buy it through the school,” Howell said.

10.) Teaching styles

“I was basically struggling…Some of my teachers are terrible teachers or they don’t teach at all. They expect you to know everything and it’s just so bad. They don’t tell you what you really need to know…They make me want to sleep so badly…and they have really heavy accents and none of my teachers are basically English. English is always their second language and I can’t understand them,” Howell said.

 

Taylor Watkins, Georgia Institute of Technology

1.) Studying

“I wish I knew how to study correctly because in high school, a lot of people breeze through not even having to study like at all like me and then you get to college you find it is a lot more difficult to complete the tests if you don’t study correctly,” Watkins said.

2.) Off-campus living

“I wish I could have lived off campus my first semester, because traditional dorms suck. I like my roommate, but I wish I had my own room sometimes,” Watkins said.

3.) College experience

“I wish I knew what the college experience would be like…because the first few weeks are like camp, living in dorms and doing different things and finding your way around campus, but then the next few weeks and next few months are just like school and then life,” Watkins said.

4.) More AP credits

“Even though I did have a lot, the more that you have the further along you are and the earlier you can get out,” Watkins said.

5.) Be more thoughtful

“I wish I would’ve thought through more with what I wanted to do more, because when you’re applying for colleges, you apply so early that it’s hard to know if you’re even going to like that, that major that you signed up for and at some colleges like mine, you can’t even change your major until the second withdrawal date,” Watkins said.

6.) Other colleges

“I wish I could experience other colleges, maybe not saying I love dual enrollment but maybe like one or two dual enrollment classes would’ve shown me what college classes are like at other places before I went to college and then I could have a comparison,’ Watkins said.

7.) Difficulty

“I definitely underestimated what college would be like. I was thinking classes were only three days a week, two days a week…so it’s not a lot of class time, but honestly the majority of your time is spent studying…In high school, you get five days a week, 50 minutes so you cover a lot more material in your classes so you don’t have to study as much…It’s so much more intense than high school,” Watkins said.

8.) Involvement

“It’s not that very easy to get involved, especially when you have so much of your time, at least in my case is taken up by school that’s where I spend majority of my time. My social life is small and I don’t do a lot.

My fun is driving to a coffee shop to do my homework and if they have free parking, that’s an added bonus,”

— Taylor Watkins

” Watkins said.

9.) Philanthropy

“I kinda wish I would’ve joined sorority just so I could’ve had that [involvement], but honestly that would’ve taken up more of my time, which I don’t have, probably all for the better,” Watkins said.

10.) Non-college experience

“This is just personally for me, but I want to get done with college early, but a lot of people want to take in the experience…but that’s just not me,” Watkins said.

 

Savannah Simpson, University of Georgia 

1.) Expensive

“I didn’t realize how expensive it [college] was going to be. College is the most expensive thing I’ve ever done in my life, because you want to go do everything with everyone and buy everything, but you can’t because you don’t have enough money,” Simpson said.

2.) Saving

“I shouldn’t have bought a lot of stuff with some of my graduation money I had, I should’ve saved my graduation money, because college is expensive,” Simpson said.

3.) Unnecessary items

“I shouldn’t have brought everything from my house. I brought too much stuff, so I should’ve known I don’t have place for everything,” Simpson said.

4.) Friends

“It’s okay to lose contact with some friends that you had, because the ones that you still keep in contact with are the ones that matter and the ones who text you and want to see you and stuff are the ones that matter,” Simpson said.

5.) No longer high school

“It’s not high school anymore and your grade depends on exams and sometimes your teachers are going to be really mean,” Simpson said.

6.) Studying

“In high school, I didn’t really know how to study. I didn’t really have to study for a lot of things, I just retained the information, but in college you have to know how to study,” Simpson said.

7.) Coffee

“I’m going to drink a lot more coffee than I did, I drink coffee on a daily basis, maybe twice a day,” Simpson said.

8.) Relationships

“You shouldn’t go into college looking for a boyfriend or a said person to be with, because

Boys are icky ”

— Savannah Simpson

and there’s no need to be heartbroken as a freshman when you can’t really start planning to get married or whatnot till junior or senior year,,” Simpson said.

9.) High school is gone

“I wish I would’ve known before going to college that my high school days were over, completely forever over, because even when I do go back to Ola High School, I feel very uncomfortable…I should’ve soaked in those high school moments before they were over, but college is so much better,” Simpson said.

10.) Philanthropy

“I wish I would’ve known how great joining a sorority is. It would’ve given me motivation during Rush Week…It’s awesome. I love being in a sorority,” Simpson said.

 

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About the Writer
Bronlyn Holland, Editor in Chief

Bronlyn Holland, a well-organized and kind-hearted senior of many talents, enters her fourth and final year of High School here at Ola. Holland has concluded...

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