By: Chloe Treible
Change is one of the only qualities in life we can expect to be unexpected. There is no plan that works out perfectly, which in my case led to an ever- changing first semester at Furman University. From early August to mid -November, I learned how to begin developing my life as a university student. I would never claim I became the perfect student through what I learned, but it was certainly a start.
Lesson 1: Get Involved, but not Overcommitted.
If you asked anyone who truly knew me my first semester at Furman what was one quality they had to describe me by, they would respond with “Busy”. My classes ended by 11:30 am everyday, which meant I had a lot of free-time…or so I thought. After joining over 10 organizations on campus, I felt as if my schedule was finally full enough to suppress my boredom. Little did I know that the time changes of these organizations would lead to an overbearing schedule, that started to become too complicated to balance social and academic life. It was not until the end of the semester when I saw my final GPA , that I realized how much my extra-circular life affected my academics. You just can not do it all.
Lesson 2 : Value your friendships while you have them. They may change.
You will find that friend that you can count on for anything, anytime, anywhere in college. I promise. But outside of that friend, you have to accept the fact that everyone is still a college student going through changes of their own. Therefore, if your friends do change, it is important to accept that. Do not let it get you down because most people face it throughout their first semester at college. You should never regret the times you had with those people however. You will never have moments like those moments again, so do not take them for granted!
Friendships do not work without time commitment, and it is something you need to calculate into your free time. Often, you will find yourself developing multiple groups of friends. While this is valuable since you are more likely to be involved with different types of organizations on campus, having multiple groups involves even more time management. If you create too busy of a schedule, then it may become too difficult to manage. You want to make sure to add value into those friendships!
Lesson 3 : You may not study enough if you only have one lonely study spot.
Some of the best advice I received upon arriving to Furman was to find your own study spot. What I did not realize is that only having one spot is not enough. Sometimes your spot is taken, or you just become bored with it. It also never hurts to have a study buddy or a few more, because they are one of the best ways to help balance both your academic and social life.
Lesson 4 : Be okay with listening to yourself.
It is okay to struggle and recognize that you are stressed. At any school like Furman, you are expected to be involved with your academics. If you find yourself under pressure and do not listen to your body, you could end up in colder water than you started. It is okay to take a break to email someone that you are overexerting yourself and need a break. It is all about learning how to balance what is enough for yourself. It is also okay to email your professors, especially at a smaller school. They want to get to know you as an individual. If you talk to them about your struggles, you are more likely to create a bond with that professor who will help you get through your academic struggles.
P.S. DO NOT FORGET ABOUT THE GYM. It is an amazing way for your body to relax. Not to mention you’ll feel amazing after the post-workout shower!
Lesson 5 : Take random adventures
Whether it’s a weekend trip or 3am car ride to Cookout, nothing creates a bond stronger than an unplanned adventure. Some of my favorite memories from this semester came from events that were barely planned, if at all. I learned you only really need about 10 minutes to pack a suitcase after all. Do not be afraid to step outside of your own boundaries. Your new friends will be there to catch you if you fall.