Expectations for the 2018-2019 School Year

Well, it’s that time of year again. Emotions collide for everyone, and sometimes we don’t know what to feel. It can be a mixture of happiness, distress, joy, anxiety, stress and so much more. Finally being back after three months of being MIA can be a weird feeling. Or if you’re a freshman it’s completely different; you’ve been MIA from the campus you’re entire life, and you are only now being introduced. My point is the beginning of the year is different for everyone. I’m going to go down the list from freshmen to seniors and try my best to describe what I think they’re going through. Don’t get it twisted; I’m only a sophomore. I went through freshman year and could tell you the ins and outs on how to get through it. However, I think you might be surprised how on point my accusations will be.

Freshman Year

Oh, the glorious freshman days. Have fun on welcome week. Nothing like finally settling down in your dorm only to find out you’re required to sit in a circle with a bunch of random people whose names you likely won’t remember. Whatever. Maybe that’s just me, but I feel some of the activities during welcome week should be “encouraged” rather than “mandatory.”

Oh well, they’ll have a good time at the dining center, something sophomores, juniors and seniors who don’t have a meal plan probably took for granted. Don’t take it for granted. Your parents are probably paying for you to have a meal plan. Use that to your advantage. Eat as many meals as you can. (Actually, don’t because the freshman 15 is a real thing.) On a serious note though, this is probably the only time you’ll get “free” food throughout the year in college, so think about it.

The dorms can be limited on space. I get it. However, cherish the fact that you don’t have to drive to class. It’s one less hassle in your life. The cold weather isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, you’re going to have mornings where you want to die because the wind is blowing directly in your face, but it’s worth it when you can easily go back to your warm dorm.

This is the year you have to enjoy. Your classes aren’t all that difficult, and you have all the freedom in the world. You’re only a freshman in college once, so use it wisely and have fun (but not too much fun).

Sophomore Year

Now it’s going down. They say the second you enter college you’re technically on your own, but that is not true. This is when you’re finally on your own.

It’s time to get a place. I’ve been looking around for a good deal on a house or apartment and just can’t seem to find one. Don’t sweat it though. Things have a way of working out. Well, a little help from your parents wouldn’t hurt. They have experience with this kind of stuff, so I would highly recommend asking for a helping hand. After all, they are your parents and would give up more than a hand for you.

Ugh, I have to feed myself too? I’ve never had this problem in my life. Not until now. It’s your choice on what to feed yourself. Looks like you have to go grocery shopping — with a cart. Something you’ve seen your parents do for you millions of times. It doesn’t feel right at first, trust me, but you’ll get the hang of it.

Nobody told me I had to keep my place clean. This is way more difficult to keep clean than a petite dorm room. There’s always stuff to pick up, bathrooms to clean, dishes to do, floors to sweep, need I say more? Some might strive to keep their area clean; others may not care and end up on the show “Hoarders” in the future.

How are you going to be able to pay for all this? That’s right, you’re going to need to find yourself a job to pay for rent and food, something you might not have needed last year. Time to start filling out applications as soon as possible before there is no more help needed. Some resort to donating plasma at BioLife. You earn about $280 a month unless you have a promo code. A new donor can earn $300 on their first five donations, which is what I did. I still haven’t decided if I’m going to go back. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who hates needles or gets nauseated when they see blood.

If you can survive sophomore year, you’ve passed the real test. The rest is just a bunch of easy quizzes at this point.

Junior Year

You’re now at the point where nothing is new to you. You’ve gone through the dorms. You’ve had your own place (with exception to those who stayed in the dorms sophomore year). You know what it’s like to buy your own groceries. You have felt the full stressors of working almost full time while keeping up with your classes. You could almost be considered a college veteran at this point.

This is also when things start to get more serious. Your classes start getting more challenging as you ease out of your generals and start to focus more on classes that fit your major. We all knew this time would come. It’s officially time to grow up and get your stuff together. It might not be as easy to stay up until two in the morning on a weekday as it used to be.

It’s borderline time to start being an adult. Your future should be one of the main things on your mind. It’s going to come sooner than later at this stage.

So while you’re not really experiencing anything new, things may still continue to be stressful. That’s just the nature of college. This is also the grade where most students will turn 21. Deal with your stress wisely.

Senior Year

A feeling of triumph. Well, almost.

Even more of veterans than juniors, seniors represent the highest class on campus. Use that as an advantage not only for you, but others as well. If you see a freshman, give them some advice. It can’t hurt, and they can only benefit from what you’re telling them.

You might be on the verge of giving up; you might not. Either way, you made it this far. No sense to take the foot off the gas pedal now. Keep grinding on what you’re striving for. That’s a lot easier said than done, but it’s not out of anyone’s reach. Use the feeling of being close to graduating as motivation.

Just because you have a lot to do doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Go to bars on the weekends and let some steam out. Meet even more people and talk to them about your plans for the future. Just don’t get carried away.

Seems like a lot more to do on top of the hard work you’ve already completed. Just know the year has to end at some point and that you can get whatever you’re working for with hard work and dedication. Let me preach.

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