First Semester Reflections

Lauren Owens, Staff Writer

Finishing my first semester of college allowed me to learn more than I ever imagined.  For instance, setting multiple alarms on your phone every five minutes to wake up for an 8:30 a.m. class is not a good idea especially when your roommate is a light sleeper.  I have learned roommates do not take kindly to that.  Also, waiting until a night before you have to give a speech to make sure your speech meets the time requirements is not a good idea.  You end up with less sleep than is necessary to properly function off of because your speech is one minute under your margin.

I have come to realize that the only way to learn is to truly experience what is around you.  I had so many ideas of what college and life on my own would be like, but I had no real grasp of what college life really was like.  As many other freshman do, I struggled with managing time, learning how to study, and making new friends.  One major lesson I learned was that going to college is about more than just education.  Yes, there were many nights I spent studying in my dorm or in a study room at the library, but there were also times where I would have late night hang outs or make trips to cool sights like the atomic bomb site.

In light of all the positive experiences I have had at Francis Marion, I have learned many life lessons from making my own mistakes.  For instance, do not oversleep your 9:30 class.  Especially when it is University Life.  The professor won’t be so kind to accept your assignments without a penalty.  Also, pulling an all-nighter is never a way to go.  It does not matter how many cups of coffee I consume after staying awake all night, I am never fully alert to take notes for class the next day.

Exam week was probably the most challenging part of transitioning to college life.  Trying to study for all of my exams was the most stressful task I have ever done, but through prayer, lots of coffee and many late nights, I was able to end my semester with all A’s and one B.  For my first semester in college, I think I survived exam week pretty well.

I cannot even begin to describe how much being involved in campus has taught me.  Working for the Patriot and being a member of biology club and BCM, has been the best part of college.  I have found that community comes when you apply yourself to finding things you are passionate about, and through doing these things, I have found some of my closest friends.

The biggest lesson I can possibly take from first semester of freshman year is that college will be what you decide to make it.  No matter what mistakes, crazy adventures, or hard classes you are faced with, each experience you have will shape you and help grow you as a person.  Finally, college is where you decide who it is that you want to become, and you make most of the memories that you will look back on when you’re older.  I know that in one short semester here at Francis Marion I have grown to love the campus and people to the point that this feels like a new home to me.