I remember taking my first steps on Kutztown’s campus. It was the first week of school. I had 10 minutes to get from my class in Old Main to my next class in Lytle Hall, and I was terrified. Coming in regularly late to a class in high school usually got you a detention; I figured making the same mistake in college would go so far as to lower your grade. But I found that my English professor was more than understanding, and I didn’t get dropped any letter grade. I shortly came to find that college is not what I expected it to be.
I’m sure that most freshmen finishing out their first year of college found that their expectations coming in were radically different from the reality over the past seven months. I believe that this is mostly due to the fact that all we have to compare our college experience with are movies or tales older siblings or relatives have told us. The reality is that movies like Animal House or Accepted show the sides of college that only a few—if any—get to experience.
What I have found over the past two semesters is that while KU students love to party on the weekends, we also spend hours at the library during the week. I knew that I would get used to studying and writing papers more frequently than I did in high school, but I didn’t expect to spend around 10 hours at the library every week. Hollywood never warned me about that one. It was also annoying that four out of the five professors that I had expected me to read over 30 pages for each class. I tried to keep up for the first month of class, but then my battle with sleep won and I just skimmed the material the rest of my semester.
Overall, my first year of college was mostly what I expected. I was awkward for the first few weeks, but then started to come into my own. It may have taken me a while to get a lay of the land and figure out certain KU customs, but I made a nice group of friends that I am confident will still be by my side when we come back in the fall.
Now that it’s ending, I’m torn between being sad and being excited for the new year. I know that you will never be able to go back and experience the excitement of your freshman year, but I think I am ready to move on and experience all that I can in my sophomore year.
Over the next three years, I hope to get all that I can out of college. I know that the studying and paper-writing will increase, but so will the parties. One half of college is about finding out who you are and growing as a person, along with growing as a student. I’m excited to see who I become when I graduate in May of 2016.
By Mackenzie Rougaloo