UNIV 100 Time Capsule

When I first arrived at the University of Maryland, I didn't realize exactly how different college would be from high school. In high school, I was one student of two thousand, here I am on of thirty-thousand. The sheer feeling that you know nobody at college was slightly intimidating at first, but I soon got over that feeling. More importantly, never before in my life had I been given the freedom to do what I wanted, whenever I wanted to do it. With that freedom comes responsibility to manage the available time wisely, something that I had no problem with in high school. The main difference between college and high school is that there is noone holding your hand anymore like everyone in high school did - you are on your own. If you want something or need something, nobody is going to get it for you; you have to do it by yourself.

Interacting with faculty at first seemed intimidating, mainly because as a student, I was one of 200+ in a lecture class. Staying after class to ask questions about the material and going to office hours are the most effective ways for faculty to become familiar with you. E-mailing faculty members works as well, but don't depend on getting an instant reply from a faculty member - i.e. if you have something important you need to ask, address them in person.

Meeting new people and making friends is something that I have never had difficulty doing. I found that every single person was nice and open to meeting new people, mainly because they felt the same way that you do - like you know noone. At first, the only people that I knew were people that I went to high school with, a few people from orientation, and the people on my floor. The people on my floor were my friends, as I really had not had the chance yet to meet lots of people. Until recently, most of my friends were the people on my floor, it wasn't until now, nearly the end of the first semester that more of my friends are people that do not live on my floor, or even live in my dorm. Luckily enough, I requested a roommate, so we get along much better than most of the people that I know that were assigned roommates through the random lottery. I wouldn't think twice again about requesting a roommate over random lottery, because when you know the person you are rooming with and get along with them much better than most people, you are bound to have less conflicts between the two of you (or more) throughout the year.

In high school, I never had a problem with managing my time wisely. Even balancing sports in all three seasons and taking all AP classes, I rarely stayed up past two a.m. However, since I have the freedom to do as I please and the fact that noone is there to force me to do my work, I have to force myself to do work. Even then I sometimes don't work, I sit at my computer wasting my life away on facebook and instant messenger. Nowadays, I would be very happy to be asleep by two a.m., as the norm is usually closer to four a.m., and let me tell you, having 9:00's everyday is a pain in the ass when you only sleep for roughly three and a half to four hours a night. Moreover, in high school, I never settled for anything less than an A on my tests. I put even more time and effort into my studies now than I did in high-school, and I struggle to earn B's and C's. Managing your time wisely is something that you must do in college to keep yourself sane and healthy.

College Park has so many different types of people, it is impossible to find two people that are exactly the same. There are people from all over the country (even other countries), who all have their own innate customs. Different beliefs and ideals are always visible, whether it be clothing styles, advocate groups, or merely people you see standing outside handing out flyers about informational meetings/seminars. College is such a diverse climate that one must take full advantage of - if you don't, then you will not learn a single thing during your entire stay here. Embrace each other's differences and learn from each other. I'm very happy that there are people all around me that are very different from me; it's refreshing to converse with people who have different viewpoints on life than you do.

Looking back on my first semester here at College Park, I wouldn't have changed anything I have done. If i hadn't of made the mistakes I've made, I wouldn't have been able to sit here and recall my experiences to help benefit others.

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Last modified: 15 November 2006