As I prepare to go back to school for my second year, I cannot help but to reminisce on what happened in my first year and what I learned.
First semester away is probably one of the best, and you cannot help but to be excited. You are going into a new environment with new hope.
The semester starts with every college student’s dream- the experience of going away without the responsibilities of “adulting.” Party after party. Sleeping in until noon. These are just a few things that you wish you could do in college. It shows you that college can be fun minus all the work that you have to do to stay in.
Football games and Homecoming are the highlights of the semester. While Howard is not known for their athletics, I am a huge football fan and I am sure schools with better records enjoy the Saturdays spent at games. Even though our team is not great, it does not mean that the games cannot be exciting. The band keeps the crowd entertained for sure. This year I hope to attend each home game. Still, the big games are known for their tailgates at Howard. Homecoming and the Howard vs Hampton game were two tailgates that I am glad I attended. Homecoming also meant YardFest, a Step Show and a Fashion Show. With special guests such as Common, Faith Evans, Lil Uzi Vert, Fabulous, Shy Glizzy and Wale, I cannot help but be excited for next year. I already know this year will be even bigger because we are celebrating 150 years that the Mecca has been here on earth.
Spring time is full of surprises. Warm weather after a cold winter is always a pleasant treat. Although this past winter in DC was not nearly as cold as the year before, it felt great to not have to bundle up. To see that it would be even 70 degrees would bring happiness.
Spring Semester also brought the much-anticipated spring days on the Yard, which is something one can only dream of being a part of. Warm weather means a big family reunion on the Yard. Everyone comes out of hibernation and its sure to be a must-attend event. Free Rita’s. DJs. People popping out. The occasional girls in heels doing double dutch. What more can you ask for?
This is also the time of many “fest” such as Springfest and Resfest, which brought out some of the most spirit I’d seen on campus. Everyone is more than proud of their dorms. Still to this day I believe my dorm was robbed of winning the stroll competition.
I learned a few major things within just one year.
1. Your experience is truly what YOU make it.
The experiences that you have will be up to you. If you want to make the most of your time, you have to forget what others say and do what you need to. This could mean attending career fairs, joining organizations or going to co-curriculars even if none of your friends attend.
2. I also learned to work smart, not hard.
You have to do what needs to be done to succeed. I learned too late to work smart. The lone B I received all year came from a class that I often tried to do more than necessary. Those who did only what they needed to do were the ones who received A’s. It comes down to learning not only the classes you take, but also learn more about the assignments you are given and the teachers you have.
3. If you need a break from everything, don’t be afraid to take one.
Your break may not be understood but you have to do what is best for you. If a break will help you to not get overwhelmed, then take one.
4. Focus on what you are there for- your education.
It is okay to attend a party and go out. However, you should remember to do your work first. Look at different events as a reward for finishing your work, or getting that A on that test you had been studying for.
To the class of 2021, get ready. Your first year can be everything you dreamed of or it can be the complete opposite. It’s up to you. Enjoy your year!
Lead Image Credit: Howard University