ESTHER SHITTU ’17
When I was young, my father told me that college is competitive. I probably believed him, but I truly did not understand what he meant. As my first semester of college comes to an end, I am absolutely flabbergasted. This is my hardest semester ever and they tell me that it will only get harder.
It is as if I was in dream and someone has now thrown a bucket of cold water on my head. My eyes are now wide open and I’m no longer in a dream. I have gone from the girl that could not wait for college to start to the one that wishes that December 18 would come sooner. Don’t get me wrong, I am not exactly waiting for the final exams and papers that I know come with the end of the semester, but I cannot wait to have a month where the pressure of school is not constantly looming over my head.
I know that many upperclassmen will disagree with me that freshman year is hard, but as someone who is now going through the process, I beg to differ. First of all, one has to go through the process of getting to college. College is a place where you have never been before. You live with people you have never met before, which is intimidating in and of itself. Afterwards, you have to adjust to your classes. Truthfully, some of the materials that are taught in the classes are not hard. The difficulty comes when you must work to fit your standards to that of the teacher’s. You have to meet the teacher’s standards, which can be different for every class.
Every class has its own set of rules. If you do not meet that rule, there is a chance that you will fail. You also have to understand your professor’s method of teaching. I believe that the hardest part of this semester for me is that I did not connect with my professors the way that I thought that I would.
Moreover, the work may not be hard but the pile of homework that you have is as tall as you are. I was not accustomed to spending at least three hours each night reading for a class and getting through only 20 to 40 pages because, not only do you have to read it, you now have to take notes on it and try to understand it. You must do this so that when your teacher calls on you, you know exactly the point that she is trying to make.
And let’s not talk about the amount of lab work that many of the science professors assign to students. I did not take lab this semester, (thank God) and I absolutely doubt that it is in my future. However, having a roommate with lab has made me realize that I will probably never complain about being bored during my free time again. While figuring out the academics, we now have to add the social life to it as well, so that we do not go crazy with all of the studying that we supposedly have done. Freshmen are taken from their comfort zone and put in a place where it seems you not only now have to learn to read again but also learn to talk and walk so that you do not fall flat on your face in front of others.
The essence of my argument is that college is hard. This semester especially has proven not to be a walk in the park as I thought that it would be. I had planned on studying, going to office hours, doing whatever it takes to get A’s in each of my classes. I go to tutoring sessions, I use the writing center, and I have been to office hours. However, I still feel like I am swimming at the deep end of the pool even though I don’t yet know how to tread the water. I felt alone at times or I felt overwhelmed. The time seemed to fly but sometimes it didn’t fly fast enough. My time here had me thinking: is it worth it? I honestly do not know if it is worth it, but there are times when I definitely do see the value of a college education. I mean how are we to get the skills that we need in each of our respective careers if we do not come to college.
However, I am tired of receiving a letter grade that tells me whether I am intelligent or not. I am tired of feeling like I am playing pretend because I know that having a test will not exactly help me succeed in life. Like I mentioned before, I do not know whether college is worth it. What I do know is that I have accomplished the greatest challenge in my life. There will be more challenges, I am sure. I will have to make it all the way to senior year and think about what I want to do with my life after college. However, until that point comes and until I have to survive the real world, I can thank God that he helped me survived my first semester at Trinity.
This semester has been a difficult one and I am glad that it is time for me to haves some free time and I look forward to enjoying my winter break.