The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


What I learned in college

A freshman’s educational perspective

As we rapidly approach the year’s end and the sunlight of summer becomes more clear in the distance, I am shocked that my first year of college is already behind me. Can I please just go back to Mustang Corral and live this year over again?

With prospective students showing up just about every day now, I am constantly reminded of where I was this time just one year ago Рa high school senior, distracted by prom dresses and graduation parties, eager to make my way to Dallas. Red, blue and mustangs found their way into my wardrobe and my afternoons were spent shopping for dorm d̩cor. To say the least, my eyes were set unwaveringly upon SMU. I had high expectations for this place.

When I was daydreaming about college one year ago, for some reason the thought of actually learning something never crossed my mind. Instead, I pondered only about dorm life, parties, cafeteria food, and meeting new people. Never once did I actually envision myself inside a classroom or, God forbid, a library.

Why is it that we go off to college to get an education, but never actually consider the process of receiving that education?

Until all of a sudden… bam! There we are, practically sick to our stomachs before our first real college exam.

So now that I am older and wiser, having lived away from home for an entire year and survived two very full and exhausting semesters (almost), I can appreciate all that I’ve learned here at SMU.

The most important thing I’ve learned on this beautiful campus is how truly lucky I am. I have a newfound appreciation for my freedom to learn and the educational opportunities that this institution presents. It’s amazing that we are able to spend four years with other students, simply opening our minds and eyes to the world around us, taking everything in and learning as much as possible. Although it may sometimes seem like an endless cycle of class, study, exam, class, paper, library, there is so much value in the opportunity to receive such a high-quality education – something to which so many people in the world don’t have access.

But outside of this profound revelation, there are a few other things that college has taught me.

First, it’s OK to miss your mom sometimes. Although everyone tries to act like they don’t for a while, there comes a point when we all let go of our pride and just admit that we really do miss our families. And that is OK.

Second, setting aside time to do laundry is essential to ones overall happiness. For some reason, a clean room and clean clothes equate to peace for me. Unfortunately, it took a couple months for me to figure this one out. Staying in one night to do chores is not the end of the world.

I’ve also learned that friends are important. And not just any friends, I mean real friends. The good, kind friends who will take care of you and know that you will take care of them; friends you can cry around (or maybe that’s just a girl thing); friends who stick around during rough times, unlike the kind from high school.

I also learned that when it comes to living with someone, you have to be flexible and low-maintenance.

Not everyone sees the importance in refraining from leaving dirty clothes on the bathroom floor. And, that is something I can let go of.

I also learned that relationships in college are a lot more serious, and a lot better. I learned that Easy Mac is precious. In fact, so is anything else that is microwaveable, really. I learned that there’s nothing wrong with having omelets from Umphrey-Lee more than five times a week. Also, frozen yogurt actually does have calories (sadly, it’s really not that much healthier than ice cream at all).

I learned that the world is a big place with a lot of people in it.

A lot of bad things happen, but a lot of good things happen, too. We have the power to change the bad things and increase the good.

My college experience has far exceeded my expectations. I am still the same me, but I sure have learned a lot. I can’t wait to see what I will learn in the next three years.

Katie is a freshman majoring in dance, international studies and human rights. 

More to Discover