I did it. I survived my first semester of college. And wow, what a wild ride that was.
The past four months have been nothing but eventful for me as I embarked on this journey that keeps on going. Every day was a new adventure and I am nothing but grateful for all the opportunities that I had and all of the people I have met so far. It’s so exciting to say that I am now officially 1/8 done with my collegiate experience, but it’s also sad to think about. Based on how much of a great time I had this first semester. It makes me sad to think about the end. Although I’m getting ahead of myself because I have barely even dipped my toes in the water of opportunities.
First off, let me start by saying that making friends is hard. It’s slightly easier when it’s the first month of the school year and everyone else is in the same boat as you, but when it comes down to it, finding a second version of you in a sea of 60,000 people is a lot tougher than I imagined. In high school, all my friends were in band. We had a common interest and we all got along and were able to spend so much time together so it just made sense. Going into college without joining band made me nervous because I wouldn’t have that activity to connect me with anyone. But I did what any logical millennial would do, and spent my summer on the internet meeting people. This was very smart of me because I made so many connections before even stepping foot on campus, so my first week was compromised of meeting these people that I already have held conversations with. It made the socially awkward side of me slightly more comfortable so we could avoid the awkward introductions and lead to a smooth transition. This worked for about half of the people I’m currently friends with. The other half involved me being a big girl and actually talking to strangers in class, around the housing communities, or being introduced via friends of friends. Intimidating of course, but the payoff is worth it. Put yourself out there. It works. I promise.
(A collage in which I am shown posing the same way in every photo because I am unoriginal and lame)
Luckily, the friends that I made have cars and were willing to schlep my butt across the greater Orlando area all semester so that I could see and do as much as my wallet allowed. As you know, I gave in and let Disney brainwash me into spending way too much money on an annual pass. Totally worth it though thanks to my weekly excursions to the parks. I call it studying. Gotta experience hospitality at it’s finest in order to be the best dang hospitality major there is right? Either way it’s cheaper than my hospitality courses so I’m saving myself so much money in the long run 😉
Also, Orlando sucked with it’s concert scene up until the moment I got here so I was #blessed to be able to catch a few more this first semester to add to my never ending list of why people need to spend money on experiences instead of objects. The first New Politics, put on by our school during welcome week and wow did they bring the party. 10/10. After that was James Bay in the pouring rain, but honestly if his music were a weather, that would be it so I saw it rather fitting. Bless by the voice of an angel as I shivered in the pit because Floridians don’t know a proper A/C balance. After that I *finally* got to see my fifth grade crush and the guy who helped me discover my love for rock music, David Cook. And I was front row. And it was at Disney World. I think you get the point on how excited I was for, during, and after that moment. Finally we have Fitz and the Tantrums part two. Same tour I saw this summer, but this time with more glitter and a lost voice. Blessed again. I also purchased tickets to see The 1975 but ended up selling them because I’m a quitter. But a quitter who takes responsibility for herself because there is no way I would have done well on my finals if I spent the weekend prior in line at the venue. You win some you lose some.
I promise I did more this semester than just spend money (unless you consider every class I attended adding more and more to my never ending debt of student loans, ouch). Yet a majority of my life savings did end up at Steak n Shake because those 2am runs were my weakness. I totally rocked my school work this semester. Although I don’t have my grades back yet, I know how well I was doing in my classes before my finals and I know my scores went really well so I’m excited to see the GPA I established so that I can move forward with internships and volunteer opportunities. Next semester I plan on challenging myself further by taking 18 credit hours versus the usual 15. It’s all part of my five year plan to work for Disney and take over the world.
My extra-curriculars were also bomb af. If you keep up with my life, you know how amazing Her Campus UCF has been for me and how much I’ve grown through the semester so I won’t repeat myself and ramble. I just get very excited about how well I’m doing and all the opportunities for the future with this activity. I received so much praise for things that I didn’t even know I was capable of and it for sure changed me for the better. My other activity, Campus Activities Board (CAB) is also really exciting to be a part of. It’s so cool to be part of the behind the scenes action for all the fun activities the school puts on each semester. Being on the concert board will definitely help in the future with my goal of minoring in entertainment management. Although these activities provide me with a lot of opportunities, I’m excited to get involved more next semester with groups that will help me in my field of study. There is a theme park publicist group that I would love to join to help combine my hospitality major with my hobby of writing. There is also a hospitality honor society that would definitely be smart to join.
Orlando has provided me with so much and I am so grateful that my first semester in college turned out the way that it did. It definitely had its ups and downs, but you know how much I love roller coasters and I’m in it for the thrill.
I tried a lot of new things and I stepped out of my comfort zone more than I ever imagined I could in 15 weeks’ time. I changed up my hair. I stopped wearing makeup (on occasion). I met people who inspire me to succeed. I found friends who cared and avoided the ones who caused negativity. I luckily didn’t gain the freshman fifteen, but there’s still time and it could happen. I have a new mindset on life and how it should be lived. And I surprisingly discovered that I’m a neat freak. I never would have guessed that in a million years. I’m returning home similar to who I was before but better.
(Left: Me on my first day in Orlando, Right: Me on my last day in Orlando)
I’m so lucky to call UCF my second home and I’m already counting down the days until I can go back (not just because this Pittsburgh weather sucks, but definitely a key factor). I’m an adult now and I have the whole world ahead of me and I’m excited to see where it takes me from here.
Until next time