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#first year of college

4.27.20

[Day 4 of 100 Days of Productivity]

I just took my last final exam of my first year of college! This year has been…interesting haha. In my first semester, we got a week off from school in the first month because of hurricane Dorian. Then at the end of the second semester, the global pandemic reached America and we transitioned to remote instruction.

Besides all the happenings of the world around us, I also learned so much, both in school and about myself. I moved across the country, from west coast to east coast, and went to college for the first time, lived away from home for the first time, AND lived completely by myself, for the first time. The transition and adjustment was very rough, and it took me about the whole first semester to really get the hang of it mentally. Physically, I was fine, I was very capable of feeding myself, driving, getting myself to classes, etc. but the emotional part was the hard part for me.

I went from having a very close group of friends that I considered family back at home to knowing nearly no one (I only knew one person coming into my college) and having to start all over…at one of the LARGEST universities in my country (69,000+ students enrolled last fall!). I enjoy being at a large university and being able to meet so many different people from all sorts of backgrounds, but this does make it a bit difficult to find your niche and to find the people who will one day be your closest friends.

Despite the current situation, I’m very happy with my first year, and I can’t wait for next semester and all the things I will experience in the coming years!

amberalexstudies
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I had my first class totally in english today!! (I’m not a native speaker and neither is my teacher his accent makes what he says hard to understand sometimes and he also makes simple mistakes but nothing too much)

The class is called Communication science and we will learn about all the types of communication and it’s history etc so I’m quite happy about this one class even though it’s supposed to be a difficult one… let’s hope I’m going to be okay!

There was a guy sitting next to me he was SO cute I had trouble not looking at him all the time and concentrating on the class. I wish I had the courage to actually talk to people instead of waiting for them to talk to me :((( I regret not asking for his name and his major

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Hello everyone~

How are you all doing? I start school in a week and I can’t wait???

I just put on some stickers I did on my notebooks to bring me a little joy when I will have to use them and it’s b99 and meme themed (who’s surprised? Not me.)

I’m so excited but at the same time I’m a little anxious about meeting new people and working differently

If anyone has tips on how to make friends and be less anxious let me know it would be so helpful for me or anyone who struggles with that and finds this post~

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~ 𝔽ℝ𝕆𝕄 𝔸 𝔽ℝ𝕀𝔼ℕ𝔻’𝕊 ℙ𝔼ℝ𝕊ℙ𝔼ℂ𝕋𝕀𝕍𝔼~
I asked some of my curl friends on their experience with how they embraced and dealt with their natural hair during their first year of college. Here’s one of my best friend’s perspective:

I’ve always loved my hair, especially since back home in Ghana we weren’t allowed to grow out our hair. I’ve been natural all my life but I started growing out my hair in 2012. I noticed that my hair usually becomes thick in the winter, but since coming upstate my hair has been thin all the time. I will look like Frankenstein every time I took my hair out of twists or braids. Mind you, I don’t put any products in my hair because I don’t believe in them. I use conditioner and black castor oil.
Normally, I would spend hours about 15 minutes doing my hair. Now, I was spending more time than that because I didn’t know how to handle my hair when it got thin. I would be very frustrated and sometimes cry. I can still put my hair in an Afro but my hair is so thin that you can see through it. One day, I just did not care and put it in an Afro, wet my hands and used it to push the hair into shape. Some people asked why my hair was like that and I would try to explain it. However, these people would try to tell me why MY hair was acting up. Then I realized that they were just jealous of my beautiful Afro. It feels good to be one of the few girls of color in my college who do not care to wear their afros out. I always have my hair in braids, but for events I always wear my Afro and I get complimented every time. It’s an accessory on its own. People wear wigs to have Afros but I naturally have it.

kurlzoncampus
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~ 𝔽ℝ𝕆𝕄 𝔸 𝔽ℝ𝕀𝔼ℕ𝔻’𝕊 ℙ𝔼ℝ𝕊ℙ𝔼ℂ𝕋𝕀𝕍𝔼~

   I asked some of my curl friends on their experience with how they embraced and dealt with their natural hair during their first year of college. Here’s one of my best friend’s perspective:


   I go to a PWI(Predominately White Institute) and it’s hard to genuinely do both embrace and deal with my natural hair because it is not often represented at my school. The closest store to me is Walmart, a big corporation that majority only caters to Eurocentric hair and style. When they do sell products for natural hair, it’s double, sometimes triple, the price of Eurocentric products. So to combat this, I have to personally go back to the city to stack up on my hair care needs.      This experience, however, has not discouraged me but simply increased my interest on how to maintain my hair even without any support. Often time, I reach out to the small black community on campus and hope to find someone that can help me do my hair. This adversity of lack of diversity has only taught us the black community to learn how to be self proficient and supportive of one another.

kurlzoncampus
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Hi, I'm starting college in a week and I'm really worried. I will be out of my house at 7am and back at 10-11pm (because of distance) so I won't see my family except in the weekends. I'll basically spend the day there. What if I don't make friends? I don't know if I'll be able to handle being on my own that much time. Any advice?

I am so so sorry that this took me so long; my computer died right when I got to school and it’s been a bit ridiculous ever since. I genuinely hope the start to your semester went well and that you have no need for my advice any more. But if you’re still looking for some guidance, I have a few suggestions.

Making friends can be absolutely nerve-wracking, and the easiest way I’ve found to do so is getting involved with on-campus clubs and activities if at all possible. You’re already spending so much time there, and this will help you connect with others outside of an academic setting and foster your own interests. Most clubs put a huge emphasis on fostering community and relationships, so even early on I’m sure there will be plenty of people willing to grab lunch or study with you for a few hours. People in your classes, especially fellow first-years, will also be eager to make friends so don’t be afraid to reach out and ask if they want to hang out.

My other biggest suggestion, if you haven’t already, is to see what resources your school has for commuting students. Maybe there’s a lounge specifically for students like you to meet and mingle between classes. Otherwise, the student center or an on-campus cafe might be a great place to meet people or otherwise feel less isolated during the days you spend on campus. Give yourself some time and you will definitely find people and community that work for you.

Best of luck with your semester and let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with!

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things i learned during my first year of college

I’ve been home for two weeks now, and I’ve been thinking a lot about my first year of college and everything I’ve learned. I’ve definitely changed and grown into a better person in the last 9 months so here are some reflections on the most important things I’ve taken away from the experience. 

  • It’s okay to be lonely (sometimes) because everyone is. This is the hardest thing to come to grips with, and I don’t think anyone at any stage of their life really understands it.  It’s especially heightened in college, when it seems like everyone else is hanging out their their friends all the time while you’re sitting alone in your room or eating dinner alone. It wasn’t until I was talking to some of my first-year friends near the end of the year that I realized everyone feels these moments of isolation, no matter how many friends they seem to have with them all the time. It’s normal. But, if you’re feeling lonely or isolated from the community often or it’s in any way detrimental to your mental health, reach out to a friend or mental health professional.
  • Lower your standards or it won’t be manageable otherwise. I was in group therapy this year, in a group geared toward getting things done (helpful as a chronic procrastinator with ADHD). And while discussing me not finishing Spanish readings, someone in the group gently reminded me that I wasn’t in high school anymore. I was still getting good grades and participating in class; who cares if I didn’t read every page or used English aids to help me get through. Now this might be different for others–maybe you don’t copy out your notes until they’re pristine anymore, or don’t work every problem til it matches the answer key. But college is different than high school. Depending on your future plans, getting straight As may matter less, and it’s definitely more difficult. You have to recognize that and adjust your study habits accordingly or you’ll be stressed constantly and not enjoying your new experience.
  • Please, don’t buy your textbooks before the first day of class. You’ve heard it before, but it’s a real issue. I know you’re excited, but save your money and sanity. Wait and head to the library for any pressing needs in week 1. 
  • Find a professor you can talk to. aka go to office hours. My Literature Humanities professor has been an absolute gift; we’ve had amazing conversations about literature, politics, and life in general. She’s helped me through hard moments (like an issue with affording textbooks) and given me amazing advice. Having someone like this in my life has been indispensable. And guess what? I only connected with her after going to office hours. (An older friend can serve the same mentor role, but still go to office hours anyway. They’re more useful than you think, and you’ll need letters of rec some day)
  • Say yes to new experiences. Don’t do anything that will put you in danger or that makes you incredibly uncomfortable. But that club that seems cool and totally different than what you did in high school? Go to a meeting or fill out an application. Your friends are going to a party/concert/museum/something? Tag along and see what’s up. I joined our school’s blog, and ran for band board on impulse and it’s been some of the best and most formative experiences I’ve had so far.
  • Have some kind of reliable income. I didn’t have a job my first semester and it made my year so much harder than it needed to be. From buying spring textbooks to being able to do fun things with my friends in the city, I was so hindered in every way. Whether it’s a job or an allowance from family, having a small, steady stream of money makes life so much less stressful in the long run.
  • Make friends in class. I’m so bad at this, and next year I’m going to work on taking my own advice more. Having someone to do your homework with or get notes from when you miss class is so important. You’re going to miss (or skip) occasionally; that’s when you need it. They also make class(especially a bad class) more enjoyable!
  • Your friendships are going to take work and time. Unless you’re going to school with a dozen of your closest friends, you’re essentially starting from scratch with your relationships. Don’t try to push things too hard; it’s okay if you only have surface-level friendships with everyone after a few months. You have to be willing to be the one to make plans, open yourself up, and dedicate time to these new friendships (or romantic relationships). Reaching out can be hard and, it’ll take trial and error, but you’ll find what works best for you in this new environment and, hopefully, a great group of friends as well.
  • You will fail. It might not be a test or a class, but it’s going to come up eventually. I got rejected from every club I applied or auditioned for and it made my first month at Columbia hurt a lot. My summer internship search was a disaster and it was all my fault. You’ve got to pick yourself up after and make the best. It’ll teach you more than success ever did; for me, it was incredibly humbling and showed me where I need to work. Push past the “I’ll never do well again” toward the “Well, that was shitty. What do I do about it so I can make it better or it doesn’t happen again?”
  • Advocate for resources/what you need (your adviser should help). Colleges have so many resources: from free counselling to study abroad fellowships to lending libraries for low-income students. It’s all there for you. But you’re going to be the one who has to navigate these often confusing straits. Talk to older students and your adviser, who should have knowledge of all of these resources or be willing to help you look. If they’re not helpful or supportive (not just in looking for resources), it might be time to think about getting another adviser. 
  • Ask for help. Whether it’s seeing a counselor to help your mental health, getting advice from a friend, or asking a professor for a much-needed extension, don’t be afraid to speak up. These people are here to help you, and most want to see you succeed. And if you get a hard-ass professor or a bad counselor, don’t let that be a deterrent to asking for a different counselor or an extension in a different class.
  • Talk to your roommate. Maybe you don’t want your roommate walking in on a heavy make-out with your significant other or you can’t sleep with the lights on. Know that whatever dumb rooommate agreement you sign at the beginning of the year probably won’t hold, and adjust accordingly. The important thing to remember is that the conversation is always ongoing and you have to speak up if something is bothering you.
  •  It’s okay to change your mind. I came into school a political science and Hispanic studies double major and I was determined to stick to my path. But one day, at a group therapy session, I was complaining about my frustration at being unable to finish my Spanish readings for seemingly no reason and an upperclassman basically asked “Have you ever thought that you don’t want to do it because this isn’t right for you?” He basically changed my life in that moment and I realized that my plans can and should change. If I’m spending thousands at this institution, I should be loving what I study instead of trying to maximize my potential to sell out to finance or corporate law. As a first year, you have so much time. Don’t be afraid to admit that what you thought was your best plan when you were 6 or 12 or 17 isn’t working for you now and go for something that’s more rewarding for you.

I could keep going, but this is long enough. If you want to hear any more about my first year thoughts, experiences, advice, don’t be afraid to ask!

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Okay, So I went back to do my laundry, and there was this sweet nice red head, probably a second year, who told me that The machines don’t use debit cards but laundry cards.

and you can get a laundry card in the office where the hockey table and stuff are.

and that they should really move it to the laundry room. We had a little chat, and she let me through that gate that I couldn’t get through before. apparently, it just gets stuck easily. At least, that’s my guess.

so I can’t really do my laundry today. Oh well. I went out in the pouring rain to clean my clothes but came back with them anyway.

I guess it’s not a total loss though, at least I know to get my laundry card now.

Thank you cute red head girl.

YAY!

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-even though it didn’t feel like it, high school was an easier time.

-when you’re with the right people and right place in life, it’s very easy to find yourself.
-being yourself is okay.
-self-acceptance and self-love are so important.
-sometimes you just need to get over yourself, your past mistakes don’t define you.
-it’s okay to be alone sometimes.
-it’s hard to find your real friends, but the ones that are good to you are the ones that matter.
-friends come and go and there really isn’t anything you can do about it.
-you don’t need to be surrounded by so many people/friends, as long as you are with the people that love you and accept you as you are, that’s all you need in life.
-cut off the people who are toxic and don’t care about you, all they will do is bring you down.
-all relationships, whether platonic or romantic, have their ups and down. It’s normal and a part of life, you just need to find a way to make it work.
-sometimes it takes a couple of tries to figure out what you want and how to make it right.
-going out of your way to reach out to someone does not make you the better person.
-communication is key in any relationship.
-it’s okay to be open with someone and to share your feelings, but don’t overshare, and don’t expect it to fix anything. -sometimes people just say stuff to say stuff, and they don’t really mean what they say.
-no one keeps promises, even when they say/think they will.
-when you talk about someone behind their back, it will get back to them.
-sometimes the weird girl that no one likes can be the most reliable.
-being petty doesn’t help any situation.
-getting back at someone doesn’t help either.
-you can’t get away with everything, even when you think you can.
-don’t steal a fish. (Don’t ask)
-being an art major is really hard.
-cottage cheese is actually really good
-everything will be okay, it just takes time.
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Probably you didn’t notice, maybe you did.

I created this studyblr right before my first year of university.

My first year is almost over and I didn’t even create an entry on this studyblr.


I think it has been such a different experience from what I was expecting, that now I know I must learn how to organise myself; I was very far from being ready for uni.

But that’s what you get.

I had written a post in September showing my pencil case; didn’t even use that pencil case because it was not what I needed for my classes.

I now have some experience, I hope next year can be different.


Here’s to everybody’s fails on new resolutions; we just have to try again!

Much love,

Mary.

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This is gonna be such a weird post but

How I met your mother will always be a show that makes me feel nostalgic. I binge watched it with my roommate my first semester of college. We watched it over the course of 2 months. I just remember the long nights we spent watching it, how unbearably hot it was, because our dorm room was always 1000 degrees.

And then when I think about that I think about memories associated with my first year of college. Of all the friends I had that I no longer have anymore. Things were so unbelievably good at the beginning of that first semester. Everything was so easy and so new and so exciting. One of my best friends would always come visit me all the time, classes were easy, I was making new friends. I was getting closer to my roommate through watching how I met your mother.

All of this is coming back to me because I’ve been watching how I met your mother all morning and I’m just feeling some type of way.

It’s amazing how many memories you can associate with something as simple as a tv show. This is why how I met your mother will always be special to me because it reminds me of how good everything was before it got bad.

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my GPA only went down from 3.3 to 3.2, which of course I do want to do better, but I am also happy that it not too low because I got a D in my psy class. I knew that my grade wasn’t going to be amazing, but I thought it was at least a C. I was so disappointed in myself, but you know what? I’m going to use this to motivate me for next semester, this is the only “bad” grade I have gotten, and I made it through my first year of college with a 3.3 & 3.2 average and that is something to be proud of, I have accomplished so much with my anxiety this year (esp my driving anxiety). So this one grade is not going to defy me or get me down. I will rise from this, change my mistakes and do better next time! :)

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Reblog and add to the list! 

1. You deserve naps. Take them. 

2. Wear makeup! It’s fine! Nobody judges. 

3. Don’t wear makeup! Nobody cares. 

4. You have a lot of free time if you learn time management quickly. 

5. As a theater major you will see naked people. A lot. 

6. As a theater major, it doesn’t matter if your deodorant is 24 hours, apply that shit 3 times a day. Please. 

7. Professors actually understand you aren’t super human and often give you breaks unlike high school. 

8. YOU USE NOTHING YOU LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. 

9. You will be lonely. All the time. 

10. You will cry. A lot. And that’s okay.

11. Therapy is okay, nobody judges~ 

12. It’s nice to not have a reputation for once. 

13. Having a single room is A+. Never want a room mate. Ever. 

14. There are a lot more people who are pro-choice, feminist, liberal etc. I just had to get out of high school to see that. 

15. You will mature a shit ton more in the short 4 months in college then you ever did in the 4 years of high school. 

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