I took 18 credits my first semester of college. I was a good student in high school. I graduated with a 3.98 GPA and enjoyed learning all I could about everything. And while I kinda sorta understood that 18 credits was a lot, I didn't realize how much it meant having to do until I was a few weeks into my first semester.
And yes, when my AP credits were applied to my college transcript, I was the freshman who said "bUt TeCHniCaLLy i'M a JuNioR iN CreDits."
School itself was okay! I woke up at 6:30 in the morning to get ready to be on campus all day. I came home from school and would immediately work on homework and readings. I went to lunch almost everyday with my high school bestie Adam (aka @ajlars13), something I could always count on to brighten my day.
Before bedtime, I would hang out with my roommate, Renée (aka @renee_bosse17), which was always a good time. I didn't know her before coming to college, but sharing 20 square-feet of space really bonds people. We went to Walmart together sometimes multiple times a week when we needed to get out of the dorms. Lots of good memories with that one!!
I went to Salt Lake City almost every weekend to see my homegirl Lizzie (aka @lizzieannsteele). I genuinely don't think I would've made it through that year without her.
I rushed my sorority my freshman year too! I will write more about that soon. I was blessed with lots more friends through that experience!
But, the further we got into the semester, the harder school got with the class load I had. When I did sleep, I slept through my early-morning classes and started skipping homework. I DYED MY HAIR CHOCOLATE BROWN!! I was straight up not having a good time. I got way too attached to older boys who weren't interested in a relationship like I was. I wanted someone to spend time with that I could also kiss lol. Eighteen-year-old me did not know how to handle that rejection or how overwhelmed I was with school. I was depressed, barely slept, and actually lost more than 15 pounds my first semester. It was the first time in years I had to change the medications I was taking for my depression and anxiety. I shut down. But through it all. Somehow, I passed all my classes. Somehow, I made it through my first semester.
I went home for winter break. It was a much much much needed break. I spent time with my mom and my cats and Lizzie. I took a break from boys. I kinda sorta started sleeping.
But then I went back to school for spring semester. I started out with 12 credits. But when I couldn't find the charger for my calculator I needed for my statistics class, I dropped to nine. (That sounds SO STUPID when I type that out, but that actually ended up working out well later). I was still struggling with getting out of bed in the morning. Anyone who's spent a winter in Logan, Utah knows how brutal it can be. The last thing you want to do in the morning is go outside in 10ºF weather and trek through a foot of snow to get to class. So I went right back to where I was before winter break. I only went to class sometimes. I half-assed all my assignments, just to get partial points as not to fail the class. I only saw my friends after they begged me to get out of bed and leave my dorm. The last two weeks of the semester were very stressful because I was making up for practically an entire semester's worth of studying, just to pass my classes. But I ended up taking my tests, turning my writing assignments in, and getting credit for all the classes I was enrolled in.
My first year of college was finally over.
If there was any word of advice I would give to incoming freshmen it would be this. They mean it when they say don't skip class. Don't skip class. Don't skip class. Don't skip class. Build a relationship with your professors (or TAs!) so you have someone to hold you accountable for missing class and assignments. Make new friends! If that means rushing Greek life or joining a club, do something that will give you social opportunities. Call you mom, sister, grandma, or best friend. She will have advice that will save your life on days staying in college seems impossible.
College is hard. But if I was able to get through my freshman year with credits to apply to my transcript that didn't obliterate my cumulative GPA, anyone can do the same thing.
I still had three years to go though. So that was just the beginning.