The college experience is more than attending classes, leaving home and making new friends. It is a time of learning, adapting and growing in areas of life that you have never thought about. Here are three of the biggest surprises I encountered as a freshman.
Learning: extending beyond academics
I am stating the obvious when I say people attend college to learn and receive an education. However, I have found that the learning experience is not limited to what you learn in your classes. The college atmosphere is one where you will constantly be adapting and learning new things about yourself, others and life in general.
Social interactions have deepened my understanding of who I am as an individual, a friend, a roommate and a student. As a Springfield native, these interactions have allowed me to learn new things about other people, their ideas and where they come from which has been an eye-opening experience. Coming to Evangel will subject you to learning beyond your personal community.
Adapting: sleep habits
College completely changes your sleeping habits. I have always heard that college students never sleep because they are always busy pulling all-nighters to study for tests. These statements are –mostly– true. Although I personally have yet to pull an all-nighter, I have found that staying up late is inevitable. I remember filling out my housing survey in preparation for my first year here at Evangel and answering a question about the time I planned on going to bed. My answer: 11 o’clock.
Now that I have been at Evangel for a couple of months, I find that time to be almost unrealistic. If you are one who goes to bed early every night, get ready for some change. Once early to go to bed, I now find myself awake at one or two in the morning. It takes some adjusting, but now I recognize it as a part of college life.
I have never been a nap taker either; going to bed in the middle of the day never seemed to benefit me. Surprise! College has changed this too. I have learned that college students love their naps, which makes sense because of their lack of sleep during the nights. It does not matter what time of day it is or the amount of time you have, you will nap. As for myself, I have found that at the most random hours of the day, even if it is only for 15 minutes, I will take a quick snooze on my couch in the dorms.
Growing: becoming independent
Like most, I thought college would be my ticket to independence; and it has been, but more than I ever expected. Your independence will stretch farther than just being away from home. Decision-making, even with the smallest things, will become more apparent: when you go to bed, what you do with your free time, when you do your homework or bigger decisions such as deciding to go on road trips with your friends. Even something as small as going grocery shopping alone made me feel more independent. You will find bits and pieces of independence in almost anything you do.
College will surprise you in a variety of ways. It is an exciting time where you will learn so much about the world, other individuals, and most importantly, yourself.