Image from Pexels.

Image from Pexels.

“I go to college now, college is cool!” Hello again, avid readers, I am sure you are all excited to begin midterm season!  Freshmen year is an intense year, probably as intense as senior year turns out to be.  The first year in college is generally the most important year because it determines whether or not you continue on with college.  Therefore, if I may, I would like to tell you the tale of my freshmen year and the impact it made on me as of now. With that said, Allonsy!

August 19th 2011, a day I will remember forever.  I packed the cars excitedly as my parents gave me tearful goodbyes as we began the drive.  Fast forward three hours later, I was all moved in and waiting for my pre-selected roommate.  I had met him over the summer and saw a bit of myself in him and in just a few short months we had become as close as actual brother. It helped that we looked strikingly similar as well.  I met the other guys on my hall and almost instantly we were comparing SAT, ACT, and extracurricular activities from high school as we tried to size up one another. Before the first day had ended, I was sure that freshmen year would be the best year ever.

I entered college as a Biology major with the aspirations of becoming a cardiologist somewhere down the road.  I will not lie, I thought I was on top of the world: great friends, an awesome roommate, WaWa within walking distance, and a campus full of secret tunnels.  But, when the first exam for the biology class rolled around, I suddenly found myself lost. You see, in high school I could get away with doing minimal studying and still do well on tests.  But, unbeknownst to me at the time, in college your grade is a direct representation of how much studying you do.  After looking at my first exam grade, I vowed to really study and put my nose to the grindstone. As the second exam drew closer, I found myself in the library more and more, but upon receiving the test back, my grade was worse than before. I was lost, I had no idea what to do and I literally felt that my college career had come to an end.

As I tossed around the idea of withdrawing from the class, I realized that the honor’s lab I was in would also be dropped and I would be brought down below the number of credits needed to be a full-time student.  Clearly, I was stuck in a bad situation with no foreseeable way out.  I would keep trying harder and each time the grade wouldn’t change.  Upon the end of the semester I had received the worst grade in my life and I knew my parents would yank me out without finishing my freshmen year.

Surprisingly enough, they were quite level headed and discussed at length possible alternatives until they finally decided to let finish out my freshmen year.  Now, I realized I only talked about my less than perfect Biology experience, but let me provide a silver lining.  While I was struggling in Biology, I was exceling in Government. Once I took a step back before returning for the spring semester, I realized what I wanted to do with my life and I have majored in Government since then. Upon my return in the spring, I was operating in rare form, consistently participating and earning high grades, and now I can safely say that I have fully rectified the damage of that Biology class.

So what did I learn from my first year at college?  I learned that sometimes you will fall down and yes it will be painful. But, with a bunch of hard work, you can rise in a blaze of glory like the phoenix. Remember, sometimes in order to become stronger, we must experience weakness.

Until next time. Stay Fantastic!

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the author

Carlton Smith is a junior at the College of William and Mary currently majoring in Government. He loves to sing and dance and is involved with one of his school's A Cappella groups known as DoubleTake. He has served as the Class of 2015's Vice President for the past three years.

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