Whenever I go on Instagram and have a live story, people always ask me what my favorite and least favorite thing about college is. At first, I thought it was a silly question, like I'm just carrying on with daily life like always. But then after thinking more about it, I realized that college is a completely different atmosphere. Especially at JMU where it's a campus in the middle of nowhere, it's an entire different world. College can be a scary and extremely intimidating thing, even more so when you don't know too much about living at college.
Today, I want to share my top 5 favorite and least favorite things about college and explain a little bit about why. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below or shoot me an email!!
5 Favorite Things About College
Freedom -- after the sadness of leaving home and your family subsides, the freedom of college starts to kick in and it's an amazing feeling. You can study when you want, eat whenever you want, and honestly live life exactly as you want to. I mean you could go to parties on a Thursday night and literally nobody would care! It's amazing. The point is, that you decided exactly what you want and how you want to do things. It's important to be able to recognize this which is why freedom is so amazing.
So many people -- when going to college with 5,000 to even 20,000 people, you realize how unique everybody is. You will meet so many great people it college and there is surely a group for you. With the amount of people at school, you will find your group of friends and your home.
Setting your own schedule -- At college you set your own schedule. Yes, there will most likely be a list of certain subjects that you will have to take. At JMU, these are called general education courses. I have to take a science, a math, and an arts class to name a few but I am allowed to choose from any subject of math or any subject of science if I want. It's just nice to take classes that you are actually interested in.
Dorm Living -- Everyone should get the experience to live in a dorm room. It's a life changing experience. It's not easy to live with a stranger for 8 months out of the year but it's a real eye opener to other people around you. First, if you end up living on a great hall or in a great suite (like I did), it will feel like a year long sleepover. Dorm living will teach you things like respect, kindness, and compassion. Seriously y'all, my roommate, Jess, is the best! She really was a fantastic person to live with and just a great person all around. Living in a dorm is a great experience though and everybody should appreciate their time in a dorm room!
Feeling like an adult -- Towards the end of last summer, I was dying to get out of the house. I was super sad to leave my family and friends and I was also very afraid but I felt like it was just time to leave. I felt very ready and prepared to take on the real world (well, sort of the real world). Everything was on me in college. From setting a schedule, making and getting food, doing laundry, solving my problems... everything was my responsibility. It was nice to be treated like an adult from professors and from those around me. It gave me the boost of confidence and a little reassurance that I can handle life after school.
5 Least Favorite Things About College
Lack of Privacy -- When you're a freshman in college the idea of privacy is stripped away from you. Sharing a dorm room with another person takes privacy away from you but sharing a bathroom with your hall also takes that option away from you as well. There were a few days where I just needed a good cry or needed to scream and I couldn't really because there was no place for me to go and do that. My roommate was awesome and one time I walked in just totally a wreck and she knew I just needed a second alone and left which was so courteous and nice of her. The only place I could go to have a moment alone was my car and most freshman don't have that.
The food -- The food at JMU is actually really good but after a while it gets old and it's sometimes tough to make your own food and it's not really feasible to be buying food. Also, during the winter I hated walking to go and get food. I know it sounds SO lazy but when you aren't used to putting on Bean Boots and a puffy coat to get dinner from the kitchen you can see how it's sometimes a little annoying. My dorm wasn't too close to many food places either so it was a walk sometimes.
Being away from my family -- I was really homesick my first three months of college. Sometimes I just needed a hug from my mom or a funny joke from my dad to get me though the day and it wasn't there for me when I got home from class. Calling home is always helpful but nothing beats being home. But there's no way around it, you just have to suck it up and deal with it. It was nice being close enough to go home when I wanted to though.
Tenured professors -- I saw a big difference between tenured professors and professors that were not tenured. The work ethic between most was very different. I had a truly awful calculus professor last semester who was tenured and could barely hear, speak, and see but because he was tenured there was really nothing I could do about it. Again, it's one of those things that you can't control and just have to deal with. One of those life lessons that teaches you how to be patient and adopt hard work.
Crowded library -- Loved going to the library in the beginning of the year but once work stared picking up in the classroom more and more people came and it was tough to sometimes get a table. Throughout the year, I began to discover a few secret little studying spots which ended up being amazing but the crowded library (especially the last two weeks of the semester) was never one of my favorite things.