Freshman year recap and what I would tell myself a year ago

Wowza. How have I already finished my first year of college?

Every year time continues to speed up – it’s scary but oh so exciting. This year came and went so quickly it feels like, but yet so many things happened it’s hard to really take it all in.

If I had to pick one word to describe my first year it would be “change.” So much in my life has shifted when I look back on how it was a year ago it’s sometimes hard for me to picture what it was like or the person I was.

I came into KU more scared than I anticipated I would be. I was the girl who all of senior year was anxiously awaiting graduation and moving on, not to say I didn’t enjoy it, I did, I was just very excited for the approaching next step.

So, when move in day finally arrived I was a little shocked by how sad I was for my parents to leave and anxious for recruitment and school to start.

As the weeks went on I found that those feelings weren’t going away. I kinda felt like an oddball. I didn’t really enjoy my classes, I wasn’t meeting very many new people, I was overwhelmed with stress, I was dealing with a broken heart and I missed my family more than ever. I felt like I was just going through the motions, I didn’t feel like I fit in and I lost who I was along the way. I’m not going to lie, for a while I even wondered if I had made the right decision by coming to KU. All my friends seemed to be having the time of their lives at their new schools and I wondered why my experience wasn’t like theirs.

But, social media is very deceiving and I soon realized that I wasn’t alone in how I was feeling.

Almost everyone around me had felt sad and lonely or missed home or felt lost at one time or another – people are just very good at hiding it behind their Instagram feeds, I’m even guilty of this.

Realizing that I wasn’t alone in how I was feeling, that I wasn’t as odd as I had once believed, helped me to not only feel better and more secure but it allowed me to embrace the changes more easily. It helped to know that we all were adjusting to the new situation we were thrown into and that it was more than normal to feel the way I was feeling.

Once I decided to embrace the change rather than do everything I could to prevent it everything started to become better. I decided, okay, I’m going to find classes and a major I do enjoy, I’m going to push myself to talk to new people and take chances in social situations, find time to be alone and de-stress, come to terms with my break up and make amends with that, and call home often so it doesn’t seem as far away. I realized that my college experience was going to be exactly what I wanted it to be. So, instead of pondering all the “what-ifs,” I took advantage of all KU had to offer and I embraced every second of it.

Come second semester I was having a BLAST!

I met some of the most amazing people I have ever met who soon became some of my best friends, I got involved within Theta, I found a job that was very rewarding and fulfilling and I became very passionate about my new major, Journalism.

Lawrence soon became a place I found myself referring to as “home.” It’s always so nice and refreshing to make those trips back home to the good ‘ol OP to see the fam, but coming back to Lawrence always makes me so excited because my life is here now.

Living in Corbin this last year was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Even with all the ladybugs, mold in the air vents, super chilly rooms, small showers, and the occasional bat, that building became home and housed some of the best people in my life. Safe to say I’ll miss the face masks, late night chats, movie nights and “please side-door me” requests.

Theta introduced me to some of my best friends and the opportunity to do what I love again – sing!! (special shoutout to Rock Chalk Revue) – and pushed me to become the best version of myself I can be. Not to mention it was never too far of a walk when I needed it… which happened to mostly be on Friday nights… around 11 pm… peace, love and theta toast, ladies. TLAM

The J-school helped to reveal a huge passion inside me! I loved my journalism classes and I’m so eager to learn more about the field and see where it’ll take me. Even though I have no idea what I want to do with my life just yet I know God will reveal that someday and I’m super excited to find out!

There will always be bumps in the road, especially when you’re very slowly easing your way into adulthood, but my life here at KU is full of laughter, happiness, and friendship and I couldn’t feel more blessed or be more excited for the many years to come!

If I could rewind the clock to exactly one year ago here are the things I would tell myself:

- Things aren’t going to turn out the way you expect them to – like at all – but that’s ok!! In the moment it might not feel like it, but in the end it’ll all turn out exactly how it’s supposed to.

- College is hard. Like, really hard. Take school seriously and get to know your professors.

- Introduce yourself and talk to as many people as you can, you never know who your best friends will turn out to be!

- If you’re not happy with where you are or what you are doing with life make a change, be selfish, that’s more than okay.

- Focus on yourself, do your own thing, don’t try to find happiness in someone else.

- Go out but also make sure you get in those movie nights with face masks and Dominos.

- Get as involved within Theta and also outside of Theta as much as you can.

- Save your money, save your money, save your money…

- Enjoy every single moment, especially this last summer that you have home because soon your life will take a complete 180.

- You’re going to make a ton of mistakes. A TON. That’s okay, learn from them and move on, don’t let them consume your thoughts.

- Ask people who have taken your class before if they used the book the class “requires” before you actually go out and buy it for yourself, trust me, this will probably save you a good $200 a semester.

- College is what you make it – decide to make it great!!

My freshman year was a whirlwind and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I feel so blessed and excited for what the future holds. I cannot even fathom how fast life goes, it seems like just yesterday I was walking through the doors of my high school for the first time, but here I am getting ready for my sophomore year of college.

Theta, 1433 Tennessee, imma coming!!!


©2020 by Mallorie McBride