College is known for being a life-changing experience by most standards. The combination of moving out, meeting a TON of new people, living on campus, and studying topics of your choice is bound to change you in some ways, big or small. Now that I’m close(ish) to the end of my freshman year, I feel like I’m finally beginning to take note of the ways I’ve changed since coming to Iowa. Here are 5 of them.
- I’ve become more responsible (duh). This one is pretty obvious. Living on your own for the first time practically forces you to take on more responsibility. I now have an actual laundry schedule (crazy, right?), as opposed to just doing it whenever my laundry basket begins to overflow. And I’ve actually started using a planner! I always thought that was something for people who had their lives together, but it turns out I can pull it off, too. It sounds stupid to point this change out, but there are a surprisingly high number of people who fall apart when they come to college because they aren’t ready for the responsibility of it. I’m glad I’ve been able to adapt to independence, well… so far, because I have definitely come a long way in that department since high school.
- I’ve started to enjoy running again. In high school and junior high, because of the sports I played, I was running year-round at a high intensity. I used to be pretty serious about my athletics, which in turn caused me to get anxious about running – I’d be so focused on performing well that the actual act of running got ruined for me. Lately, however, I’ve picked running up again and have started to realize that I don’t need to make excuses for myself if I’m feeling off. It’s just nice to run again for enjoyment.
- I have a better vision of what my future will look like. When I entered college, I knew I wanted to make movies and that I was interested in making space documentaries. Over the time I’ve spent here, however, after talking to and learning from people who have made actual films and done the things I want to do, I’ve begun to realize how I plan to get from being a kid interested in film to a professional director. I’ve also learned a lot about what actually goes into making a film, and how I can make one by myself. It’s nice to finally begin to see a path for myself.
- I stay up later. I can’t just make this list about all the ways I’ve changed for the good – there have definitely been a few ways I’ve changed for the worse, and this is one of them. Since a lot of my friends live on the same floor that I do, it’s really easy to get roped into staying up to hang out a little. Plus, when a lot of your classes don’t start until after 10 AM, it’s hard to drive yourself to get out of bed earlier than you need. I’ve been working on fixing this, but with so many midterms to juggle, it’s been difficult to prioritize my sleep.
- I’ve started to live in the present more. All my life, I have always been thinking about what my next step will be, how much better life will be in the future, etc. Lately, however, I’ve begun to notice that while thinking ahead is useful, it distracts me from getting to enjoy what I’m living now. There’s a lot that I love about my current lifestyle, and I don’t want to get so caught up in what’s next that I don’t appreciate just being a college kid.