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5 Reasons Your First and Second Years of College are Different

        When I moved back into college yesterday it was such a good experience. I'm rooming with one of my best friends, and the rest of my entire group is either right next door, across the hall, or right downstairs. We grew so close over the school year last year and seeing almost everyone again was more exciting than I think I thought it would be. That got me thinking about how much different things are now versus last year when I was a freshman, so here's a list of how different second year is from the first.

1. Locations:

         Last year it would sometimes take me forever to remember and figure out where things were. It doesn't help that I'm directionally challenged, but this year was completely different. I know where the majority of the buildings are and can get around in half the time that I could at the beginning of my first year.

2. Stranger Danger!!!!
        While there are a lot of people on campus that I don't know I know enough people to never be completely alone and not have someone to talk to. However last year it was really hard for me to open up and get out of my comfort zone. I still went and did things, but there were a lot of times when I would find myself holed up in my room because I was afraid to go out and try to be social more than part of the time. Eventually, though, I got over that fear and now I have some of the best friends a girl could ever ask for. 

3. What I Actually Need
       When you first come to college a lot of people, myself included, seem to bring a lot of useless junk. Mostly because you were probably told, or read, that you needed it, that leaves you with not a lot of space in your dorm room. For example, this year, I know that I don't need to keep as much food in my dorm room, it takes up way too much space and I don't eat it fast enough. Books are another thing I have a problem with bringing too much of. Even though I did bring quite a few books this year, I also plan on taking them back and bringing up new ones as I read them and then go home to visit. The second-year you're definitely more aware of what you do and don't need.

4. Fresh Meat
       The way freshmen are treated can sometimes be a little mean. You don't know where anything is, who anyone is, or even what anything is. Everything is new to you and you're definitely out of your element. The second year is better because you automatically don't feel like the new kid and to paraphrase what I said above, you already know a lot from the year before.

5. Confidence 




To say that I was unconfident, especially during the first few months of college, would be a major understatement. Like I mentioned above, it was hard for me to get out of my comfort zone. If you've started college and you already feel like this trust me, go out and try to meet people. College is a completely different ball game from high school. So try to make an effort. Trust me it will be well worth it. Even though I just got back to my college town yesterday I can already feel how much more confident and in my element I am. I know people, and I know more of what I want in life. Since the end of last semester I've started a blog, started sharing my poetry on one of my Instagrams, and I just sent the novel that I've been working on for almost a year now to a publishing company, and I plan to try and send it to more. My confidence levels are just that high right now. I feel as if I could accomplish anything. Maybe in a few days it'll calm down a bit and I'll go back to feeling like normal, but for now, I'm just extremely happy to be back at Northwestern!

      If you couldn't already tell, the first and the second year of college are almost two completely different things. My advice is to enjoy your first year and all it has to offer. Your first year will have a lot of firsts, and you don't want to miss it. Understand, though, that all of the awkwardness you might be feeling as a freshman will soon go away and eventually you'll feel confident and happy wherever you're going to school. 

Love,
Baleigh

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