It’s been 27 days since I ended my first year of college. I think partly why it took me so long to write this was because I didn’t want to let go of the year; I wanted it to stay the same as I always do.

The past year I probably walked, accomplished, learned, ate, and met the most amount people I have ever in my life. I was shown the beauty of being uncomfortable. As I can say I have successfully completed one-fourth of my college career, and before I know it it’ll be history. But I’m writing not only to share but to document the lessons brought to me as a little memoir of my experiences. These were my 3 most important takeaways.

My roommate was the one that showed me the true meaning of this word. I never really thought of it in the context of a friendship until the year went by and my friends and I went through hurdles together. I realized that this is the time in your life where quality matters more than quantity, and that it’s really about the people that are ride or die. Of course we don’t love everyone all the time, but it’s about the ones that stay with you when you are crying because of a boy, a job, family, or even that you stubbed your toe. The ones that stay when you scream because you are so happy you got that opportunity to become a better you. The ones that laugh with you, or know your guilty pleasures. I grew to truly understand what it means to be a loyal friend, sister, daughter, and citizen. I’m grateful for the ones that tested my loyalty throughout the year and for the ones that made me want to grow it stronger. Above all, it’s one of the qualities I value the most in a human being. 

As a female immigrant, eldest sibling, and first American-educated student in my family, I’ve had to make my fair share of compromises. But I never had to live in such close proximity with so many women my age, and also expected to get along with the various new people I met. In college it’s simply assumed that you should get along with your roommate(s) or be happy with your friends. But that’s not always the case and that’s when I realized I had to compromise with my choices and way of life. It’s about learning to appreciate the compromises others make for you, and vice versa, because it’s a fundamental part of life where the sooner you accept compromise the easier it becomes.

Wow this was a HUGE one and also a common one I’ve been seeing on other posts made by first year students. This was for me, the first time in my life I had to deal with an intense amount of failures that questioned my self worth, because I had lost the safety net I grew up with. Coming into college I was so excited to try out all the opportunities available to me, forgetting that almost every other student admitted alongside me was thinking the same thing. Just because everyone says college has opportunities does not equate to the fact that you will get them all. I’ve shed tears over some things that didn’t matter, but also over some that really did and broke my heart. It was truly very hard, and I will definitely have more, but now I know I’m more than equipped to handle them. 

My first year was more than I could have ever imagined, and given how much positive reflection it brought into my life, I’m beyond excited for what’s to come. Good luck to all those who are starting their journey through adulthood; you are in for a ride you will never forget. ​

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