I’ve written a bunch of college life updates this past year. Since I finished my freshman year last week, it’s time to write my Freshman Year reflection. I hope you enjoy.
//Classes, Studies, Homework, Etc.
I feel like a broken record whenever I talk about this category. As you all probably know, I went to a very competitive college-leveled high school, so academics have been pretty easy for me thus far. Nearly everyone I went to high school with has been saying this about college. While everybody else is struggling, we’ve been there before, so we’re better at managing everything.
I think the second semester was a bit harder than the first because I wasn’t as productive. I didn’t have any classes on Friday, so I had always had a three day weekend. The thing is that I’ve always been more productive when I’m on campus. Because I only had four days of classes, I had to spend more hours in class instead of at the library to study and do work.
In the first semester, I almost never brought any work home because I had time to work in school. The extra few hours were spread throughout the week. I don’t work very well at home and since I had an extra day at home, I wasn’t as productive. Friday just became an extra day to procrastinate.
I also had way more lab hours, which took up more time. Basically, I’m just saying that I didn’t manage my time well. I didn’t have a routine in place until March, which is why I struggled. I’m going to schedule Monday through Friday classes from now on because I’m much more efficient when everything is spread out.
I found an even better shortcut in the second semester! It only took a little over 15 minutes to get to the train station!
And then, everything went to hell.
Most of you probably haven’t even heard of this, but last month, a bridge on I-85 collapsed. No one could drive into parts of the city of Atlanta, so many people had to take the train every day.
There was definitely more traffic, but I was able to navigate around that because I knew which roads would be more crowded. The problem was parking. I have never seen the trains or platforms so full of people before. Parking lots for all the MARTA (Metro Atlanta Transit Authority) stations were full by 8 AM. It was chaotic.
I ended up driving to another train station in a better area and parking at a Wal-Mart near it. Then I’d just walk to the train station. I didn’t get any tickets thankfully. By the last week of school, local businesses gave up their parking for MARTA, so I didn’t have to drive as far. So, that was my last three weeks of school for you.
People won’t be able to go on that highway exit until June. At least Uber is 50% off until then for those going to any MARTA station. That’s nice.
Overall, commuting is fine. On the car ride, I usually listen to audiobooks or the radio and I get nearly all of my pleasure reading done on the train. I would not have read this much if it weren’t for taking the train every day. I’m very grateful for that because it forces me to make time for it.
//Being In The City
I don’t really know what to say in this part. I absolutely love being in the city every day and I can navigate it really well now. I understand the subway system and don’t put on hand sanitizer every time I get on the train anymore (Honestly, this stopped back in September and the only reason I put it on was because I had it. I am the opposite of a germaphobe, but moving on). I can walk past movie sets now without stopping because they are everywhere in Atlanta. If you haven’t heard, we’re the new Hollywood because it’s cheaper to film here.
(I did fangirl a bit when they were filming Simon vs The Homosapien Agenda hear last month. Don’t judge me.)
The biggest thing is that I don’t bat an eye when I get catcalled anymore. At one point, I got catcalled almost every day. It stopped for awhile after the Trump tape came out. Not just towards me. I saw women get catcalled significantly less. It started up again recently, but I don’t put in my headphones and sunglasses on anymore when I walk through the city. That was how I used to avoid it, but now I can just walk through with a blank face.
(I know some people say women are catcalled because of the way they dress, but I’ve always dressed pretty conservatively. I’m telling you this just in case you are judging. Most women don’t egg men on like that, not that it should matter because most women dress nicely for themselves. I’m digressing, but this stuff really pisses me off.)
This year has taught me that I really don’t enjoy the company of people. When I told this to my friend, she exclaimed, “But you’re a people person!” I am good with people, but I don’t enjoy prolonged interactions with them.
I realized this a few weeks ago when one of my best friends canceled plans on me. We meet every Monday for lunch at 11 before my first class, but that one day when she canceled, I felt relief. And this is a woman I love dearly, but it was nice to go the gym and not speak to anyone that morning.
This, of course, is not a regular thing. I look forward to seeing her, but that feeling of relief reminded me of how introverted I am. I know in my mid-year update, I talked about missing being around people I knew all the time. After spending so much time alone, I craved human interaction, but since I made more friends this semester and hung out with my close friends from middle school and high school friends more, I needed alone time to recharge.
It’s all a balancing act like everything is. I think the greatest change I’ve made in my social life this past semester is that I hung out with my best friends more. I think new friends are exhausting because you have to start from square one. There is still a barrier that only time can break. It’s nice to spend time with people who have known you for years and won’t be surprised by anything you say. It’s very calming.
That’s definitely my biggest accomplishment in terms of my social life. I never reached the point where I felt lonely, but it was still a struggle making close friends because I’m not on campus that much. Spending time with close friends has really helped.
//On Living At Home
I went into this in a recent post called How To “Survive” Living With Your Parents In College. That’ll give you more insight on how it’s been and why I love it so much.
Though, I will address this. I am significantly closer to my mom now. Let me explain. I am very close with my parents, but I’ve always been closer to my dad. This is because of the language barrier. My Bangla is really good for someone raised in America and my mom’s English is really good for someone who wasn’t, but there has always been a barrier (still is).
My dad, on the other hand, went traveled a lot, went to American schools, went to college here, etc, so he speaks English much better. In fact, it’s his primary language. He speaks in English with his brothers, in contrast with most Bengali immigrants.
Don’t get me wrong, I am much closer to my mom than most “Indian”-Americans are to theirs, but language barriers are a huge thing. I think the reason we’re closer is because we’ve been spending so much time together. We also started working out and getting healthier together, which is also a plus. Since I’m home so much, she and I watch the news or run errands. It all sort of happened gradually without me noticing, but just hanging out together more has improved my Bangla and her English.
This really has nothing to do with us growing as people. It’s more because of the situation. The fact that I’m home more has allowed us to do this. We’re interacting the exact same way we have been my whole life. I simply have more time now.
On the other hand, I’ve talked to my dad less. That’s fine. I can only take deep one-on-one conversations with my dad in small doses because I feel invaded to the core. Not in a bad way. My dad and I just have very open conversations about life, religion, sex, politics, etc. that are fun but can be very draining at times because he’s my parent. He works from home, so I do interact with him, but I think it’s decreased because I started driving. That was usually our alone time where other brown people couldn’t judge us for our very “inappropriate” conversations (I say inappropriate in American culture because I hear that most girls don’t talk to their dads about sex).
As for my brothers, it’s the same. I help out with Mysoon more because I have more time and Zidan is struggling with high school (he’s going to the same one I went to) because it’s really hard. Other than that we’re good. My grandparents are coming home next week, so that’s exciting.
I still can’t believe I’m done with my Freshman year of college. It went by so fast. I think this blog really showcases that because it all feels like yesterday. I always say that life is long because I feel like the term life is short lets people make excuses to do stupid things. And life is. I have so many chapters ahead of me. This year probably won’t be my favorite chapter, but a good one, nonetheless.
I had a conversation with a friend of mine the other day about how great high school and middle school was. I said those years were awesome, but I would never go back. She said she would, but I can’t. I’ve never been one to miss moments or people or things. I don’t miss moments because they’re over. They happened. And as much as I loved high school, I love college too. I can’t say more because I love them in different ways. I’d never go back, but it’s good to remember things fondly. And I never miss people because I assume that I’ll see them again.
Why bother wasting energy over things you can’t control?
I’m digressing, but basically I’m saying that I’m fine with this chapter being done, so on with the next.
How was this year of college for you? What was your favorite class? What’s your favorite memory?