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Student Life

My First 4 Weeks of College

Laura gives an honest account of the first few weeks of college.

Laura Magerkurth

September 12, 2012

My First 4 Weeks of College
When last we met, I was a high school senior, more than ready to graduate and get my real life started. Full of idealism and excitement, I was fighting at the bit, and felt as though, when the time came for me to move in to my dorm room here at Truman State University, I would have few qualms about college life. I’ve grown up a lot in the month that I’ve been here, and this experience has been very different from what I thought it would be. I’ve been more homesick and more tired than I expected (what is it about college that makes you so sleepy all the time?), but I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by much about the school I attend and the town that I now live in. Hopefully I can give you something of an idea as to what your first month of college will be like! The first few days all the freshmen were on campus was called Truman Week. This was essentially a weeklong series of activities (we got a grade for it, though—it’s required to graduate) to help us get comfortable, learn our way around the school, make a few friends and get used to being in college. Our resident advisors did lots of icebreaker activities with each floor, including games, group discussions, tours of campus and a walk around the downtown area.

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There were also many evening programs that were put on by the student activities office—one was a series of sketches—some funny, some serious—that illustrated different situations we might get into during college, like being shy about asking someone out, having trouble with a roommate, drunk driving, and making friends. Another program featured performances from many of the musical groups on campus, like the men’s a cappella group.
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Another part of Truman Week was the Truman Week class. Everyone’s course was different, and for most people, it was a class required for their major. It was meant to let us get to know a professor and people in our program, and even though there wasn’t much lecturing, having just one class for several days before school began in earnest made starting my other classes much easier. I was nervous about all of my classes, but my anxiety was soothed when they actually began. All of my professors are pretty amiable people, and since many of my classes are made up of mostly freshmen, they know how to talk to us and make us comfortable. I haven’t had any stereotypical, wild-eyed, irrational professors—not yet, anyway! I’ve noticed that I’ve been doing a lot of reading, flashcard-making, and studying outside of class, which has definitely been working to my advantage: I feel confident about my knowledge of the material. Even if there isn’t assigned homework, there is still work that you should do outside of class in order to stay caught up.

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For me, socializing in college so far hasn’t been 100% awesome, but it also hasn’t been awful. I’ve made friends and have had several fun experiences (never underestimate the power of a movie/card game night) and a few not-so-great ones (the few times I’ve cried to my mom on the phone weren’t my happiest moments), but I haven’t found my way out of my comfort zone quite yet. I’m definitely still transitioning into college, and with that will come more fun, challenges, work, joy, good days, and bad days. For now, though, I’m ok. And that is ok.

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