Ah, college. A beautiful, weird, stressful, exciting time in one’s life. I’m still in disbelief that I’m actually in college. I feel like I’m at a summer camp and will be going home and back to high school any day now.
Honestly though, I feel so #blessed that I go to Indiana University. I can’t imagine myself anywhere else and wouldn’t want to. This place fits me so well and though I’m still working things out, I’ve had a fantastic experience so far.
Before I came here though, I don’t really know what I expected. I don’t think I had any preconceived notions but that’s not to say that I wasn’t hit with a lot of surprises.
Like, a truckload of surprises.
And I hate surprises.
I hate them so much that I google every single movie I’m going to watch and read the entire plot beforehand just so I have a gist of what is going to happen before it happens.
Is that a little excessive? Well, maybe but let me LIVE okay?
But college??? Unexpected things happen. So here is a list of the 5 biggest surprises I encountered in my first semester of college (in no particular order).
1. My entire lower body hurt (at least for the first week)
Okay, so you may think you are in very good shape and you may think that walking is not strenuous and you may think the Jack Rogers you’re wearing are super comfortable and have great arch support but then you will discover, you are WRONG.
I got shin splints the third day I was here. SHIN SPLINTS. I ran track in high school and never got shin splints, please explain to me the logic of that???
In general, Indiana is a very big, very hilly school. That is no secret at all to anyone who pays attention.
Hah, surprise. I didn’t pay attention.
When I toured here and visited here, I don’t think my brain fully registered how big IU is. So when I began walking to all my classes that were 20-25 minutes away (perks of living on the outskirts of campus) and going from house party to house party to find one that wasn’t busted (it’s a hard task, let me tell you), I ended up with blisters, heel pain, leg pain, shin splints, just all types of lower body pain really.
I’ve got to tell you though, it does get better. After getting used to walking at least 16 miles a day (says my fitbit), I’m assuming my body acclimated itself. Additionally, when I discovered the bus system, that opened a completely new door for me (although I still walk almost everywhere).
Long story short: prepare yourself accordingly though, I really wouldn’t have it any other way.
2. I didn’t get my first choice classes
I think I assumed that there was an unlimited amount of professors who can teach a certain class and therefore, you don’t have to worry about not getting your first choice.
I was very wrong.
Freshmen will ALWAYS get the last pick. Always. So with that in mind, let me tell you a story of my scheduling experience.
I am a journalism major so while making my second semester schedule I was planning on taking 3 media classes, Spanish and 2 general education classes.
When I went to actually go make my schedule though, I was SMACKED in the face with reality.
EVERY SINGLE CLASS I wanted was full except Spanish. And because every class I wanted was full, I somehow accidentally ended up enrolling in a physics class that I had thought was astrology and a class about the beginnings of Muhammad and Jesus.
Let me just say, my strengths lie specifically in english and writing based courses. Anything pertaining to science, math or history I choose to avoid like the plague.
On the bright side, the times for my classes are fantastic (no 8 a.m’s for me!) so it really hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be.
3. I miss my family
I don’t think anyone was more shocked than me when I discovered I actually missed my family (well, maybe them).
I’ve always been very independent and I’ve never had trouble being away from home. In fact, I would consistently search for ways to escape my hometown, always dying to be anywhere else. I’ve gone away to camps and vacations for weeks without my family and had no problem being alone, in fact, I’ve always overly enjoyed it.
But coming here, I’ve realized how much time I wasted at home that I could’ve spent with my family. Something that took me a really long time to figure out is that, they’re actually really awesome people who care about me a lot. I’ve always kind of been used to my own company, so discovering how much I love my family’s when it was a little too late has definitely been a regret of mine.
The bright side of this though is how hard I try to make up for it when I’m home. I stay home for movie nights; I eat at the dinner table and actually have real conversations; I invite my sister to hangout as often (probably not enough) as I can. It’s never too late to make up for it and honestly independence is great and all, but sometimes you just need your family.
4. I miss my dog(s)
Alright, listen up: this is VERY similar to #3 but I can’t NOT put this on the list I mean, c’mon.
I have two dogs and I love and miss them both dearly, but it is true, I do have a favorite.
My dog Sadie is the real OG and I miss her more than Dewey’s Pizza. I definitely think you take your dogs for granted, especially when they’re always there for you. I knew I’d miss her but I was shocked how much.
Sadie and I have a true bond let me tell you. She sleeps with me every night, she follows me everywhere, she’ll sit in my lap (and only my lap) and she cries when I am not home.
If I could keep her in my dorm, I would. She is the cutest animal to ever grace this earth and I will swear by that fact until the day I die.
Seriously, hold your dogs close because they are the best friends you will ever have.
5. I need my car
Coming to college, I never thought I’d use a car. Then I met a dear friend on my floor who actually had her car here and wow, that just really turned my whole world upside down.
It is so convenient to go buy groceries whenever you need to; it is so convenient to go drive down to Kirkwood to go eat rather than take the bus or walk (this is the lazy part of me talking here).
Also, I have so many friends at so many different schools and I constantly want to visit them.
That’s probably the main reason I’m not allowed to have my car at school. My dad believes I would never stay in one place. He’s most likely right but…..still. I love Bloomington but sometimes you just got to expand your sights. This is especially true when you have friends living in cities like St. Louis or New York City.
Though I don’t have a car now, I am still thriving and surviving. For now, I’ll just enjoy my time in Bloomington because after all, it is pretty great.