By Katrina Liu

When I talk to people and ask how their college experience was, it varies. But every single person mentions how difficult their first semester was.

I didn’t understand what they meant, until now. As my first semester at Boston University closes out, I have some parting thoughts and tidbits of advice before facing a new set of triumphs and challenges.



1. Homesickness has a whole new meaning to me now


My family being just 40 minutes outside of Boston, I didn’t think I’d be homesick in a city that I practically grew up in. But after a couple of weeks, I found myself feeling a way that I wasn’t prepared for. I realized that I missed the simple things that I took for granted when I lived in the quiet suburbs. 

I missed driving, the quietness of my hometown and being three minutes instead of 500 miles away from my best friend. Most of all, I found myself being homesick for the people, not necessarily the physical location. 



2. Happiness comes in waves, and sadness hits like a truck


Life has a way of bestowing happy moments on you until it suddenly hits you with the sadness bus. I have learned that that’s normal and that I shouldn’t blame myself for feeling sad when I was happy just a day before, or even just an hour before. When we overcome the sad moments, we grow and learn more about ourselves. Though we should strive to always be happy, don’t blame yourself if you can’t pinpoint a reason why you’re sad.



3. People are there for you


This sounds like the most obvious one, especially to someone like me who is lucky enough to have many people I can talk to about my problems, but it’s worth being said. Even the most extroverted and friendly people feel lonely and that’s okay. But people are there for you and care about you. Don’t forget it. 



4. Adulting is fun, but it’s also difficult. 


Managing a budget and making your own schedule is fun, but also stressful at times. There are simple adult things, like deciding what to eat that I didn’t worry that much about before college. While I like the responsibility of looking out for myself, a break would be nice.



5. Growing is a constant thing.


I have grown so much since September and I will only continue growing for the next couple of years. It often doesn’t seem like it in the moment, but overcoming the tough times makes you a better person. We are constantly changing and evolving into better people. May this next semester and beyond bring you more growth.