December 27, 2019#college | #social

Reflections: First Semester

You'd think, a college freshman in Mexico for vacation (travel diary coming later) would have better things to do than write a blog about college. Most of the time, you'd be right, but I had some time on my hands so I figured I'd get working on this. If you haven't guessed by the title, I just wrapped up my first semester at Cal, and boy did I have an experience. People always portray college as a wild ride, and it kind of is. I grew academically, socially, and pretty much everything-ly.

For starters, this was the first time I was actually taking more classes that I cared about than ones I had to. My schedule wasn't full of fluff like English, History, Biology, and whatnot. I was taking 3 technicals, all of which I enjoyed thoroughly, and French, which I loved deeply. Every hard class was insanely enjoyable because I loved learning what I was learning (well, for the most part). Even though I had enough prior experience to breeze through half of my classes, the other half kept me on my toes. I always had something or other to work on, and for the first time I didn't feel burdened by it.

And when I didn't have anything to work on, I socialized. I lucked out, because my dorm floor turned out to be pretty social and most of us started getting along well. As a result, I didn't have to go far to be with my friends. I figured I should make the most of it this year, before everyone moves into apartments, inevitably not to be seen except on special occasions. Everyone's doors were open at some point throughout the day, and people would just gather in the evening to talk, play card games, listen to music, or watch random YouTube videos (or movies). A nice little community, unlike anything I've ever witnessed before.

With all good things come distractions of course. Aside from our amazing Friendsgiving feast and Secret Santa exchange, we found ourselves procrastinating a little extra because we had people to procrastinate with. A friend and I picked up the great habit of playing video games for long hours, so any time that could've been spent studying more was spent gaming. A much needed relaxation though, to alleviate the building stress of midterms and finals. I'd say we balanced our time pretty well :)

I learned how to succeed, how to socialize, and how to manage my time to do everything I wanted to do. The independence aspect of college was slightly daunting at first, but having 20 other people on your floor to work through it with made it that much easier, and I got used to dorm life pretty quickly. Heck, I'm actually kind of excited to go back for another semester with these folks, even though my incoming course load is supposed to be many times harder than the load I had this semester. Less time for video games, more time for productivity!

I hope everyone's college experiences are positive, because I know the only reason I want to go back is because mine was. With that, it's time to be a tourist and hop on a day-long journey to Chichen Itza. Signing off.