May 8, 2018
My first semester in college was quite the experience.
Although it wasn’t at all how Hollywood likes to portray it – wild parties, popularity, “finding yourself” – it was still big-screen worthy.
My first semester included some normal and some not-so-normal activity: difficult professors, trekking to class with seconds to spare, mountains of homework and the usual feuds with classmates. I’m surprised Hollywood didn’t think of it first.
Aside from the random and crazy stuff that went on during my first semester, as far as school itself goes, it was similar to high school.
The only difference between my senior year of high school and my freshman year of college is the amount of walking and responsibilities you have to overcome. But college is all about adapting and getting used to a new lifestyle that includes all of these responsibilities and difficulties.
UCCS is a spaced out campus. You will definitely have to walk around quite a bit to get where you need to be. You’d think that getting from point A to point B wouldn’t be so strenuous, and that’s true if everything you need is in the same building.
If you’re walking from University Hall to Main Campus, you’ll have to take the shuttle. Being a dancer, I thought walking from place to place would be easy.
However, the mileage and altitude proved me devastatingly wrong. Figuring out the shuttle services, (and how to get there just in the nick of time before they leave you behind), was an annoying feat but a blessing all the same.
But the hardest part about the transition from high school to college is the weight of responsibility. In high school, almost everything was handed out to you. Even if it doesn’t seem like it was spoon-feeding, it was.
College professors want what’s best for you, but they also don’t have time for your excuses. If you miss class, it’s hard to make up the work, and if the class requires a certain number of absences before it’s one too many, your grades can suffer as a result.
Having been in the dorm, I didn’t have someone to wake me up if I was completely exhausted or hard of hearing when my alarm rang. It was really up to me to go to class and complete my assignments.
Aside from getting the hang of time management, and the obscene amount of school work, there was a highlight that occured during my freshman year: the Ent Center.
One of the greatest parts of my freshman experience was the finalization of the brand new Ent Center for the Arts. During my first semester, the visual and performing arts classes were in University Hall, which is on the north-east side of campus.
While it was an OK building, it was shared between visual and performing arts majors and the nursing students. It also didn’t have a full-size proscenium theater or proper dance studio. But the Ent Center opened its doors during my second semester, and everything changed.
The new building encompasses theaters and an enormous dance studio, as well as room enough for the expanding VAPA major. The new Ent Center does have its quarrels with students – for some reason, visitors are surprised to see kids walking around in sweatpants and dad hats in such a luxurious building. The creation of the building was the highlight of my year.
If there was any advice I would give concerning my freshman experience, it’d be become an expert in public transportation, learn how to be responsible for yourself and find something that makes your college freshman experience that much brighter.
You only have one, so it’s up to you to make the most of it… and not give Hollywood any ideas.