By Cameron Kincer
Heart racing, hands sweating, tears rolling. Yep, you are in line for the most unpredictable rollercoaster of your life: College. It has the best up hills that make you feel like you are on top of the world. But there is also that really fast straight downhill that makes you feel like you lost your stomach and you can’t breathe. There are those loops that literally make you feel like you are falling head first down to the bottom and there is no going back. Trust me, it will happen.
Before actually going to college, I dreaded it. I didn’t want to go at all. I was not looking forward to leaving all of my friends and family three hours away. But of course, my mom gave me that push to get me going. My mom is my best friend. I have been her shadow for the last 18 years and I talk to her at least twice a day, sometimes more. So, it was hard for me to grasp leaving her, my dad and all of my sisters who make my world go ’round. I have a huge family and we are extremely close. I never wanted to break away from being able to come home from school or practice to talk to all of them every day. But the world keeps spinning no matter what.
First Up Hill: Move-In Day
Everything you have heard about move in day being crazy and hectic is all true. It is by far the longest day ever. My move in day was hit with every curve ball possible. When I was getting all of my college stuff at Walmart and Target, I knew that I was going to be in the community shower residence hall because I was told ALL freshmen are in that hall. I bought a caddy, shower shoes and everything else. Little did I know, I got placed in the residence hall that has two rooms connected by a bathroom. My two roommates were not aware either, so we had no shower curtain, no tissue, no soap, nothing! So, after unloading my car and my parents’ car we finally started to put things away. My roommates and I went to Walmart and got a shower curtain and every other necessity you need in a bathroom at around 11:00 pm. It was insane, please keep in mind that it was three girls straight out of high school now trying to live on our own. We were failing miserably.
First straight stretch: The night(s) of getting to know your roomies
This is when you figure each person out, their routine, and everything. Some people are extremely messy and some make their bed every morning. You may be one type and your roommate the other. You figure out the small, random things that no one else really knows about them, like if they shower in the morning or at night, if they are a morning person or not. Having roommates is fun but you have to learn compromise. If you cannot learn to agree to disagree, dorm life is not for you.
I have four sisters and I share a room with one of my older sisters back home. Yes, we fight but we have learned to be considerate of each other.
First loop: First week of classes
My first week of classes started out normal. I did have trouble getting out of bed, but everything else was a traditional first day of school. Not until after my first class did I realize that college classes were drastically different than high school. My first class was supposed to be a 50-minute lecture that actually turned into a 20-minute discussion of the syllabus and being released early. So, everything was great!
Whatever someone told you about not having any free time in college is completely false. You have an overabundance of time, you just have to use that time to your advantage. On average, you’re in class about two and a half hours a day, but there’s a lot of learning you have to do on your own time. TIME MANAGEMENT IS KEY. You have to study and take notes and actually use them. I can speak for the majority of people coming into college, it is a whole new world. I was in the top half of my classes and I never truly had to study all the time. College is the complete opposite, your professor with throw material at you for you to learn on your own. It is your responsibility to learn everything.
First downhill: Homesick
Yep, the awful thing that no one ever wants to admit to having is homesickness. When you have an awful day or you fail a test all you want is your mom’s amazing food or your siblings there to make you laugh. Everyone gets homesick, some get it later in the semester and some get it as soon as the first week is over. Being homesick is normal, it’s a thing that everyone experiences. Nothing beats your bed at home or your couch to sit and watch Netflix. For me, being homesick just makes my Facetime calls to my family a lot more meaningful. Seeing all of my sisters and them fighting over who gets to hold the phone, being able to talk to my parents and grandparents, it makes me feel like they are not so far away after all.
Second Up Hill: Making friends & enemies
A week of classes down with A LOT to go, you will make life-long friends in those classrooms and dorms. Take the risks, have fun and make memories.
Sit back and enjoy the ride. I’m not sure what happens next, but I am strapped in and ready to find out.