First Day in College

1015 words | 4 page(s)

Even though my first semester at Idaho State University was not long ago in fall 2014, it seems as if it was ages ago. I still remember the nervousness I was experiencing during first day in college. As I think about it, the source of nervousness was mostly lack of experience and knowledge because I had never been in a college environment before. I didn’t know what to expect, thus, my feelings were not much different from a tourist who feels overwhelmed by being in a new country whose culture he doesn’t know much about.

As I stepped onto the college campus, I did take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the campus which was much grander than my high school campus. But I could not help but notice the large number of unfamiliar faces on college campus, as opposed to high school where are used to seeing the same faces year after year. In addition, high school student population is nowhere Idaho State University student population, thus, even strangers in high school seem familiar. I had seen the buildings already where I was supposed to take my classes but still got lost and found my way with help from other students.

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As I entered my first class which was Western Art, I could not believe the size of the class as well as the number of students which must have numbered over 100. It was as if I was not in a class but in a seminar room. Since I had been a little late as compared to many other students, I took seat at the back of the class. It was not long after that the instructor entered the classroom. Seeing the instructor was arguably the first college experience quite similar to high school. I had expected college instructors to be more formal in their approach towards teaching because college is supposed to be harder than high school but the instructor’s friendly aura was quite apparent. As she started explaining the course curriculum and advised us to enjoy the course, it helped calm my nerves that may be college courses would not be that much different from high school. The instructor was the first person that had made me feel at ease that day.

There was two hours gap between my first and second class that day, thus, I decided to use the time to explore the campus. I had not taken a breakfast before coming to college because I was in a hurry, thus, I decided to head to one of the on-campus fast food outlets. There was a long line of students even though it was only 10am. I had expected the lines to be shorter but this was a first reminder that college students do not take regular meals like high school students but instead whenever they get time. In other words, any hour of the day can be a breakfast or lunch for them.

The second class I went to was Algebra but I had not registered for it yet due to being a little late. But I decided to go since my advisor had suggested to give it a try because sometimes students do drop a class they have registered for. There were still many students in Algebra but nowhere near the level I had witnessed in the Western Art class earlier. The class seemed quite similar to the Algebra I had taken in high school which further boosted my confidence that college education may not be as tough as I had feared. By now, I had also come to the realization that college life may be more fun because I liked the idea of having classes few days of the week instead of every day.

By the time I finished my second class, I felt confident of completing the first semester with good grades. This higher level of self-confidence also helped ease the nervousness I had been experiencing earlier since I had gained a better understanding of how things work in college. My third and final class of the day, i.e. Introduction to Psychology, was in the evening, thus, I decided to head to the bookstore to purchase books. It is fair to say one of the biggest shocks of the day occurred at the bookstore when I looked at the prices of the books and tried to estimate my total expenditure on books alone.

At the bookstore, it seemed as if every course textbook was priced at over $100. There are some things we learn over time and I was still not aware of the strategies to save on textbook costs that I know now. If I knew at the time what I know now, I could easily have saved hundreds of dollars by now through online purchases. In addition, I also didn’t know that one can manage without textbooks, at least the first week of the semester. It was my first semester and I was determined to start the semester with high GPA, thus, I decided to bite the bullet. I used two cards for buying books, i.e. debit card and credit card and the total turned out to be even more than my monthly housing rent. The cost of the books also helped me understand why there are complaints about rising costs of attending college and how it, particularly, affects students who support themselves and do not receive financial support from their parents.

Overall, the first day of college was not as difficult as I had been expecting it to be. As I took classes, I became more confident that I can manage college academic load and score good GPA which is important to me so that I can get a good job after graduation. But I would be lying if I say I didn’t miss high school life on first day of college. My high school campus might not have been as beautiful and big as Idaho State University campus but college campus lacked the feel of community one experiences in high school where almost everyone knows everyone.

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