Yesterday marked my last day of classes for the semester. In the next week I will complete a paper, finish online homework, and take three finals. Then I'm home for the holidays and prepping for the spring! It's incredible to think that I've already been here for four months. I can't believe how much has changed since moving to Boston!
On September 2nd, I shared with all of you my goals for first semester. That was the day before classes started. I had no idea what would happen in the next sixteen weeks!
As I begin wrapping up The Freshman Experience, I want to revisit those goals and share my experiences - did I achieve them? Or were they more difficult than expected? Read on to find out.
Goal #1: Rush a Sorority
When I went through recruitment, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I didn't know anything about the chapters on campus, couldn't tell you what a Rho Gamma was, and had zero clue about rituals and traditions. I don't think I even knew the Greek alphabet! Me? A sorority?
I'm proud to say that last Saturday I was officially initiated into the Xi Upsilon chapter of Delta Zeta sorority at Northeastern University. I'll be honest - there was a period of time during my new member period that I considered dropping Greek life. I was out of my comfort zone, stressed about the amount of work we had to do, and I wasn't sure if I could handle being around that many girls. I met with older sisters and talked to my friends about my decision. Was this for me?
Although they were a rocky few months, I'm glad I stuck with sorority life. During my time with the DZ girls, I've made new friendships, discovered my personal values, and created lifetime connections. I have a big sister, a twin, and an entire extended family to support me in all that I do. I've also met people outside of DZ - some of my best friends are guys and girls in other sororities and fraternities on campus. I can't walk to class without seeing somebody I know!
I'm so grateful that I talked to people about my decision. One of the older sisters that I talked to actually became my big. I now look forward to the years ahead of me, wearing my letters and proudly representing Delta Zeta both on campus and off.
Goal number one? Check.
Goal #2: Develop Healthy Habits
This goal didn't go as well as my first one. One thing I learned this semester: I am a stress eater. And the dining hall has really good pizza. Did the Freshman 15 make an appearance? No. But was I healthy? Absolutely not. If I hadn't been rowing, this could have gone very badly...
This is a goal that I need to spend more time on accomplishing next semester. My schedule for the spring is more consistent than it has been; that way I'll be able to develop a regular schedule of eating, sleeping, and heading to the gym.
With my bizarre class schedule this semester I had very little routine in my life. But by sitting down and planning out my week ahead of time, I should be able to continue working on those healthy habits next semester. The first challenge? The holidays....
Goal number two? In process.
Goal #3: Form Better Study Habits
My study habits definitely varied from class to class. I studied for every microeconomics quiz and exam diligently. I always made sure to work on my calculus practice quizzes before the next class. However, I definitely slacked in my Intro to Communication Studies class and spent very little time reading for Intro to Business.
Bad study habits are hard to break. However, during the semester I discovered what worked for me and what didn't. I realized that study groups are my go-to resource before major tests. Public places (like coffee shops or the talking floors of the library) keep me surprisingly focused. And my ultimate study secret? The Self Control app for Mac. Facebook, Pinterest, and CF are addictions - thankfully my new favorite app eliminates those distractions when I absolutely need to work!
Next semester I'll have more readings, more papers, and more presentations in each of my classes. As the year progresses, I hope to continue developing my study habits and working hard!
Goal number three? Done.
Goal #4: Stay Organized
I am so proud of this goal! I did it! Even if I did fudge my housing application to make myself sound neater, I actually have become more organized this semester! Victoria (my roommate) and I are known for having a clean, neat, and homey room. I have bins under my bed for shoes and bags, my drawers have folded clothes, and my jewelry is in a jewelry tray. My sweaters are folded, my scarves stacked, and my bed made!
Granted, there were some stressful times during the semester where our little room became very messy. I'm not claiming a perfect record. However, I love walking into my dorm and having a welcoming, uncluttered atmosphere. In fact, Victoria and I have even committed to living together next year; we are so excited for apartment organizing and decorating sophomore year!
Goal number four? Nailed it.
Goal #5: Keep an Open Mind
Boston is different than small town Minnesota. I'll say it again. The diverse city of Boston, Massachusetts is worlds apart from a little community in the midwest. This semester, I've definitely tried to open my mind to new, diverse, and multicultural ways of thinking.
At Northeastern, 17% of this year's freshman class is international. In one of my classes of 40 people, only 5 were from the United States. When I walk to the bathroom, I typically hear at least two different languages.
When I made my goal in September, I figured that I would be opening my mind to various high school stereotypes. I thought that I would stop judging people by online accounts or pictures. Instead, I began to learn about different cultures and different worlds. It's been a challenge trying to understand the customs and philosophies of different countries, but it's been an absolutely amazing, life-changing experience. I'm so grateful to have stepped out of my comfort zone opened my mind to new ideas.
Goal number five? Check.
More Freshman Year Tips, Experiences, and Advice
This article is part of our Freshman Experience series. For more, see: 8 Week Countdown, College Orientation, Tips & Tricks for Meeting the Roommate, Dorm Room Shopping Tips, First Semester Goals, College Packing List, Getting Involved on Campus, 4 Ways to Ease Midterm Stress, College Misconceptions & Ask a Freshman, Freshman Year Questions - Answered, Thanksgiving Break Essentials, Tackling Holiday Shopping in College, and Final Thoughts.
The past semester has been a crazy whirlwind of a learning experience. Thankfully, I've accomplished nearly every one of my goals. It's been amazing looking back and seeing how I've changed over the last four months. Now, as always, I look forward to hearing from you!
High school girls, freshmen girls, upperclassmen, and veterans - how have you changed over the past semester? For those of you that made a list of goals, would you consider them accomplished? How do you feel about your semester as it comes to a close? Make sure to leave your thoughts below!