Reflections After a Year of College

I haven’t been doing my month-in-pictures posts on here for several reasons, but mostly because I was too busy being a college student. My freshman year has flown by, and I thought I’d sit down and put some of my thoughts about college into words. In between, I’ll insert some random pictures that I think sum up my first year experience at Carolina, not necessarily related to the bullet point. Here goes:

You don't know what March Madness is until you've seen UNC beat Duke at home!
You don’t know what March Madness is until you’ve seen UNC beat Duke at home!

1. “Out of sight, out of mind.”  The transition from high school to college makes you realize pretty fast who your real friends are. Make the time and effort to see people who matter to you when you’re home on breaks, because you’ll see that you were only friends with some people in high school because you saw them five days a week.

Campus is beautiful all year, but especially in the fall

2.  The Freshmen 15 is actually no joke.  The first few weeks of classes, I was shocked at the sheer amount of walking involved and thought I wouldn’t gain weight… I quickly realized that laziness sets in faster than you think, and eating healthy becomes a battle. Not having a kitchen of my own was awful because all I kept in my room was junk food! If it weren’t for gymnastics, it would have probably been more like Freshmen 35…

Couldn't imagine college without these teammates
Couldn’t imagine college without these crazy teammates

3.  Naps are your best friend.  Seriously.  Need I say more? The challenge is finding a go-to nap place on campus that is both comfortable and not too public in case you snore, drool, sleep-talk, or all three. Studies show that the most efficient naps are 20 minutes!

Hall birthday celebrations <3
Birthdays traditions with my girls are key

4.  Your faith will be tested.  It’s a struggle to drag yourself out of bed on Sunday mornings to go to church, especially after a late night. Sometimes you will feel like you are hanging onto Jesus by a thread. Actually, a lot of times. Just know that it is so, so important to get yourself involved in the right communities before you become influenced by the wrong ones. I could go on forever about this, but just be smart about who your closest friends are.

Snowdays in college are more fun... you get to do things like sledding on mattresses
Snowdays in college are more fun… you get to do things like sledding on mattresses

5.  You are a product of where you grew up.  I thought I grew up in a very diverse area, but going out of state truly made me realize (like, within a month of college) that I actually grew up in a bubble of affluence and privilege called Northern Virginia. It makes me appreciate the opportunities I’ve been given a lot more, not take them for granted. At the same time, I’ve discovered this internally conflicting situation where I think I’m too conservative for Northern Virginia, but too liberal for North Carolina because of the environment I grew up in…AKA political socialization (thanks SOCI 133).

Spontaneity is deciding to go to the beach 8 hours before you leave.
College spontaneity is deciding to go to the beach 8 hours before you leave.

6.  Time flies when you’re having fun. I’ve made better friends in one year of college than I did in four years of high school, and it is so hard to believe that I only have three years left. It took being at home just a week too long to understand that everything people said about college being the best time of your life (thus far) is true. And did I mention how awesome it is to have your best friends live walking distance ?! I think that might be my favorite part of college!

A post about college is incomplete without a crazy selfie in our PJs!

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