As I have mentioned before, I’ve survived my first semester of college!! In addition, I’ve learned many lessons along the way- lessons about me, lessons about college and lessons about life in general. I also learned many lessons in my classes, but we don’t need to talk about those :)The following list contains twenty things I learned during my first semester…
20 Lessons from my First Semester of College

1. Roommates aren’t the big bad wolf

I’ve heard so many horror stories about freshmen who go potluck and get a terrible roommate. When I was applying to the University of Not Hogwarts I didn’t know any freshman girls who were going to be living on campus that I could room with.

So, I went potluck.

And, I. Love. My. Roomie.

She’s wonderful, and so much like me. We get along really well and I’m so thankful that God blessed me with her.


2. I can talk to people I don’t know and they won’t kill me or think I’m a (complete) weirdo

Before college, I felt uncomfortable meeting new people. I had the hardest time thinking of things to say and I always felt like I was being really weird and awkward.But since going to college, I’ve been forced to meet people. And you know what I’ve learned? I learned that meeting people isn’t that bad. I just have to ask the standard questions (What’s your name? What year are you? What’s your major?  Why did you chose that? Which dorm are you in? Where are you from? Ect) and then a conversation will inevitably start.
And it’s not creepy! Because that’s how you meet people in college! Yay for learning how to start conversations with strangers!
And as far as the fear that they’ll think I’m weird or awkward? So what? I am sometimes weird and awkward, but in my own unique Kara way. It’s what makes me me. My personality is the way it is because God made me that way! And he doesn’t make mistakes.

3. The Freshman 15 isn’t a law

(I actually lost 6 pounds this semester because I walk to class.) Anywho, I was so scarred that I was going to be visited by some “Freshmen Fifteen Fairy” and magically gain weight. Didn’t happen.

4. Doing laundry early in the morning is the best time

It truly is. Nobody else is doing it, because they have class or are sleeping, so the laundry room is empty.More than once have I woken myself up at 7 when my roomie wakes up for her 8 o’clock, sleepily dragged my clothes to the laundry room, started clothes, came back, set an alarm for an hour later, fallen back to sleep, then woke up, put the clothes in the dryer, came back, set an alarm, fallen back to sleep, woke up, took my clothes back to my room, and then got ready for my 10 o’clock class.

5. I can make friends

During my senior year, I didn’t have very many good friends. I had maybe 3, and I wasn’t even that close with them. It was really weird to be in a class with 36 people and to feel invisible. I felt like many of the other friends I had throughout high school were too busy with classes or too caught up with their “senior-itous” to notice me. (I’m learning that most of this was just in my head. Lies we tell ourselves are terrible!)
Anywho, I feared that something was wrong with me and that I was somehow pushing all of my friends away. I feared that I would go to college and be alone, again. And after feeling alone all of senior year, this thought was terrifying.But, I’ve learned that I can make friends.
I can. I have friends at Not Hogwarts, amazing friends, friends I love and miss terribly because they’re so far away during vacation. I am so blessed. And I am so thankful.friends3

6. Upperclassmen aren’t scary

Being able to place out of Spanish I and II was great, as it meant that I was able to start in Spanish III. However, this meant that I would be in class with a butch of sophomores (*gasps dramatically*), sophomores who I assumed would look down on me, a measly freshman.But they didn’t do that. In fact, they didn’t care. If any of them thought I was weird, it was because I genuinely like Spanish while they dread it.I also met some really cool upperclassmen in that class once I mustered up the courage to talk to them. (See #2 above.)

7. Dusting is important

I actually learned this one when I came back home for Christmas break and decided to re-do my room.I never was a fan of dusting, so I avoided it as much as I could when I was growing up. But as I was re-doing my room, I was disgusted to see how much dust had accumulated on my furniture.I thought the thing where you wipe your finger on something and it comes up covered in dust was just something that happened in the movies for dramatic effect.I sit here and type this before you today to bring you this message: It is not just an dramatic effect. The need for dusting is real! I am now a converted duster (if there is such a thing.)

8. Room checks are a blessing in disguise

I didn’t discover that dusting is important while actually at college because we are required to wipe down our furniture as a part of room checks.My dorm has room checks every two weeks. Our RAs post the date and time on our bathroom mirrors, so the checks aren’t a surprise.We are required to wipe down the furniture, sweep, vacuum, clean out spoiled food from the refrigerator, clean the microwave, take out the trash, and make our room look generally nice as well. If it doesn’t pass the inspection, we get fined (I’m not sure how much, as we’ve always passed).
Room checks are a blessing in disguise because, well, my roommate and I aren’t the cleanest people you’ve ever met. We’re not the messiest either, but, by the time the 2 weeks mark comes around, our room could use a good cleaning.The room checks aren’t unbearable. In fact, we turn on the Disney songs and rock out while speed cleaning our room. We can clean in record time now.One of my friends who attends a different university has told me that her dorm doesn’t even do room checks at all. I guess it may seem a little strange, but I’m thankful for the accountability  we receive every two weeks. It helps us keep our room pleasant.

9. It’s okay to skip Bible study if you have a big assignment or a test the next day, but don’t make it a habit

Deciding to skip Bible study is always really hard for me (I’m kind of a legal-ist). I’ve had to do it a few times (because I sincerely needed the time to study) but it is always harder to go back the next week. Thus, as I said, I don’t need to make a habit of skipping.

10. Audio books are amazing

…For those nights when I can’t fall asleep and would usually turn to reading a book. I don’t want to turn on my lamp and wake up my roomie. So… I have discovered Audible. It’s an app that lets me purchase audio books. I love it! It even has a sleep setting which allows me to be able to set the book to automatically stop playing after a certain amount of time so if I fall asleep I won’t miss anything in the book.

11. Not having an uniform is weird

And I feel like such an ex-private school kid for saying so!From 6th-12th grade I attended a school where everyone wore a uniform and so everyone looked the same.In college, there is no uniform. (Hallelujah!) However, for the first few months, I would always evaluate what people were wearing. It may seem silly, but I was overwhelmed by all of the different things people wear.I love not having to wear a uniform, but it is kinda weird.

12. Gotta make time for Jesus and be consistent

During the first few months of the semester, my quiet times with Jesus were scattered. I would skip a day, and then the next day I would convince myself to skip again since I didn’t do it yesterday. So before I knew it, I hardly ever would read my Bible.I also didn’t have a good Bible study plan going into college. So when I did sit down to read my Bible, I didn’t know where to turn to.Sometime in October, someone asked me how many times I read the Bible, on my own, during the week. I was shocked at how low of a number my answer was. I was shocked, and decided to be more consistent.
Finally, at the beginning of November, I started reading through Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost For His Highest. The devotions were short enough that I could easily fit them into my day, and I often would look up the scripture that was used and read around it.Through this semester, I learned that my life is so much more peaceful when I consistently spend time with Jesus.

13. Other people love Disney too

I met a group of girls my first week of college who love Disney movies. Whenever we had a spare moment, we would gather in one of our dorms and watch a Disney movie or play Disney Trivial Pursuit.I’m so glad I have friends who share my love of all things Disney.In fact, I’ve learned that Disney can be a great bonding point. It brings people together in a wonderful-happy-pixie-dust-y way :)

14. How to get ready in the morning in 10 minutes

8 o’clock classes + wanting to get every bit of sleep possible = getting ready super fast.I suppose if I slept through my alarm I could get ready faster- throw on the first clothes I find, toss my hair in a bun, skip makeup, wear glasses and don’t take out my retainer- but I can be (relatively) presentable in 10 minutes.

15. Heart to hearts with the roomie at midnight are hysterical

‘Nuff said! :)

16. The value of a good coat

Early November was very chilly at Not Hogwarts. I wasn’t expecting the cold front, and so all of my warm clothes were still at home. (Texas doesn’t get cold-cold till December, sometimes January.) Thankfully, I was able to run home and grab my good coat.If I could do it again, however, I would have brought the coat to college to begin with.

17. Naps are amazing

Hanging on to the thought that I can go back to my dorm right after class and take a nap has gotten me through many an 8 o’clock class.I know I went to school at 8 for the past seven years of my life, but there’s something different about going to class at 8 o’clock at college. I don’t know what the difference is, but it’s there.

18. Free food/ free t-shirt is an instant way to attract college students to an event

It’s no lie.

19. Dishes are hard

My roomie and I are kinda sorta procrastinators when it comes to doing dishes. There came a point where every single one of our dishes was dirty- and hidden away in the closet.The act of doing dishes isn’t all that hard (although washing them in a community bathroom isn’t a blast). Remembering to do the dishes and wanting to do the dishes is the hard part. 

20. How to plug into a church

I attended the same church from when I was born till I left for college. Once at college, I visited other churches and went through a journey of figuring out the type of church I best connect with. I love the church that I’m currently attending so much! 

One thought on “20 Lessons from my 1st Semester of College:

  1. Rebecca Jones

    My dorm only did room checks before a long break (winter and spring). However, I was a tour guide for my dorm building for prospective students. So I always had to keep my room clean JUST in case someone wanted a tour. It definitely helped me keep things clean. I never napped in between laundry loads, however I was known to take my laptop down and do some studying inbetween loads.


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